Utah Brothers Volunteer For Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Trial In Children

May 5, 2021, 10:00 PM | Updated: May 6, 2021, 6:59 am

LAYTON, Utah – Two young brothers have enrolled in a trial for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in children.

Brothers Jackson, 8, and Kaden, 10, got their first shots last week and said so far the symptoms have been generally mild.

“I had a sore arm, fatigue, and a headache,” Kaden Sweeten said. “But I feel fine now.

The boys have recorded their symptoms daily through an app provided by the trial. They will get their second shot in a month, along with blood draws and monitoring for the next 13 months.

Their mother, Tristen Sweeten, said when she heard about the trial in West Jordan, she approached her boys about signing them up.

“We have talked to them in-depth about the vaccine trial,” she said. “They know about the side effects, they know about the risk versus the benefits.”

Ultimately the family jumped at the opportunity and enrolled the boys in the trial. Sweeten said, as a former pediatric nurse, she realized the importance of keeping kids healthy from COVID-19 and the only way to do that is through vaccines.

“We are aware of the side effects, but we are also aware of the long-lasting effects of COVID and we feel like the vaccine is a much safer option,” she said.

Velocity Clinical Research V.P. of business development Craig Koch said this specific trial has 7,000 participants nationwide with volunteers all under the age of 16.

“These guys are heroes,” Koch said. “For every student we get, it’s going to happen so much quicker. We are going to get back to some sort of normalcy so much quicker.”

As for receiving placebos or the real thing, Koch said roughly 75% of participants will receive an active vaccine.

“We are looking for effectiveness of the vaccine so the only way to determine that is through clinical endpoints and through the blood tests,” he said.

As for Jackson and Kaden, they know getting the shots are going to help other kids just like them stay healthy.

“We cannot reach heard immunity if the kids aren’t vaccinated like the adults,” Kaden said.

Velocity Clinical Research is still looking for volunteers.

If your child is interested in participating in the trial, head to and click on the Salt Lake City site.

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Utah Brothers Volunteer For Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Trial In Children