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Virginia teen participates in Novavax COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

Novavax has expanded its clinical trials to children between the ages of 12-17.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — The push to get as many shots into arms will eventually hit a wall unless the vaccines are proven safe for kids. Novavax has expanded its clinical trials to children between the ages of 12-17.

After some reluctance with some parents when it comes to their children getting the vaccine, one Virginia family decided to be a part of the trial.

Dr. Xiaoyan Home said after her own personal research, she felt the Novavax vaccine was the best option for her and her family and wants to help researchers get more data. Her son, David Home, 16, is participating in the Novavax vaccine trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“I had some side effects like a little bit of a sore arm, [a] little bit of a high temperature but that's fine," said David Home. "Mostly, it's been going fine and normal."

His entire family has been a part of the trial. His mother, a medical doctor, said this vaccine made her feel the most comfortable after her own research.

“I looked carefully into the protein-based vaccine, and the way they make the vaccine was similar to the hepatitis or the flu vaccine, it’s protein-based. So, the mechanism of the vaccine for Novavax is the mechanism that I feel comfortable with,” Dr. Home said.

This two-dose vaccine is made up of the spike protein found on the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-COV-2. Trials found an overall efficacy rate of 90%, but it varies depending on the variant. Home said she wants to help researchers collect more data to determine how long the vaccine is effective and that’s why she and her son felt comfortable being a part of the trial.

RELATED: VERIFY: How the Novavax vaccine works

“We do not have a lot of long-term clinical data about the safety and long-term effects of these two types of vaccines,” Dr. Home said.

Dr. Home added that participating in the study will ensure they will one day get the vaccine if it’s approved by the FDA. Though they’re not certain, David and his mother are hopeful he got the vaccine versus the placebo. They will remain in contact with the University of Maryland School of Medicine for at least the next year to monitor the long-term effects.

“We really hope this vaccine could be a great alternative to [the] current vaccine available,” Dr. Home said.

To become a part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Clinical Trials, click here.

RELATED: VERIFY: Yes, the new Novavax vaccine was created using moth cells

RELATED: Your questions about the Novavax COVID vaccine answered | #TheQandA

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