San Diego teen participates in Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trial on youth

Pfizer Vaccine
Posted at 6:07 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 21:07:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Pfizer has been testing its COVID-19 vaccine on children as young as 12 to ensure it is as safe and effective for kids as it has been in adults.

Kyle Sullivan, a 15-year-old Del Norte High School student, enrolled in the study and has now received two doses of either the vaccine or the placebo as part of Pfizer’s trial on children.

“I wanted to do it because I wanted to be vaccinated,” he said. “I want life to be back to normal. The faster we can get these trials done, the faster the FDA will approve it, then we can get the vaccine out for everyone.”

Sullivan had his first appointment at the trial site in Kearny Mesa earlier this month.

“Went in, had to sign a few papers like, how are you feeling you want to do this? Had to get blood drawn, do a nasal swab,” he explained.

He was then given a shot of either the placebo or vaccine, that’s still unknown.

“I just had my second appointment a couple of days ago,” he said.

After each injection, Sullivan said he experienced headaches and fevers that lasted about a day.

Pfizer’s most recent global data shows 1,090 participants between the ages of 12 and 14, and 738 participants ages 16 and 17 have been enrolled in COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Dr. David Pride, the Director of the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory at UCSD Health, said enrolling children in vaccine trials is not only important but common.

“Whether it’s the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination, whether it’s tetanus, all of those vaccinations are given to children, so it’s actually quite typical to test vaccines on children,” he said.

While COVID-19 hasn’t severely impacted most young people, he said vaccinating kids would help stop the spread to the older, more vulnerable populations.

“So much of developing this vaccine for the younger age range is about preventing, the younger age range from spreading this to the older age range,” said Pride. “It’s going to be very, very difficult to get rid of COVID-19 without basically vaccinating the whole population.”

Kyle said he is happy to be part of the solution but is most looking forward to returning to everyday life.

“It’ll be really nice to actually get back into class, see my teachers, and see my friends,” he said.