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Kaiser hosts Pfizer coronavirus vaccine trial for teenagers

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KRON) — A coronavirus vaccine study initially focused on adults is now being tested on teenagers.

The research is being conducted here in the Bay Area. 

“I am not the best with needles but I don’t know? It was just like any other shot,” Allyson Eisenman, one of the teenage participants, said. “Like the flu shot which I got a couple of months ago.”

Kaiser Permanente is expanding its research into a clinical vaccine to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19.

Now testing adolescents like 17-year-old Allyson Eisenman.

The voluntary study is being conducted with Kaiser members in Sacramento and Santa Clara. 

The vaccine is developed by Pfizer Inc and Biotec. It is the same vaccine recently reported to be more than 90% effective in adults.

“So it’s just like for the adult study. It is a placebo-controlled trial. Half will be getting the placebo. Half will be getting the vaccine. The two doses are 21-days apart,” Dr. Nicola Klein said.

The goal of the study is to enroll 2,000 adolescents. Allyson Eisenman describes what is like being one of them.

“I do the check-in once a week. I actually had to do one today. I log that. It’s just an app on my phone. It takes like 30-seconds. I take my temperature to make sure I don’t have a fever every week,” Allyson said.

Allyson’s dad, Jeff Eisenman, is participating in the adult study. He says there was no pressure on his daughter to get involved.

“Did I force her one way or another? Absolutely not. This is our chance and our ability to contribute to the situation,” Jeff said.

“In terms of how long it is being followed this study just like the adult study is designed to be followed for 2-years,” Dr. Klein said.

The big question is why did this teenager from San Jose, who could be doing anything else during the holiday season volunteer for this study?

“I do know that the health and safety of those around me are important to me and so that’s what influenced me to contribute,” Allyson said.

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