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San Antonio teen participates in Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial for kids aged 12-17

Moderna has asked the FDA for emergency approval for the vaccine in children aged 12-17.

SAN ANTONIO — A second vaccine choice for teens could become available if the FDA grants emergency authorization for Moderna to administer its COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 12-17.

A San Antonio girl says she is participating in the trial with hopes it can help kids live a normal life.

"I was a little hesitant at first but I knew the vaccine trial would help get the vaccine out quicker,” Angelina tells KENS 5.

Angelina says one of the biggest adjustments was attending online school and spending more time with family.

“I’d like to go out more and hang out with my friends mostly...just whatever we couldn't do during the lockdown," Angelina said.

Moderna reported in May that its COVID-19 vaccine was 96% effective with no serious safety concerns.

Angelina says she got her inoculation in January.

"It honestly feels just like a normal shot," Angelina recalled.

More options means more protection for others.

“People have personal preferences, they may have medical history that would predispose them that one vaccine might be recommended over another,” Dr. Jason Bowling, hospital epidemiologist at University Health said.

Bexar County has more than 57% of people ages 12 and up who are fully vaccinated. Over 76 percent of people have received at least one dose.

Dr. Bowling says while cases are down — he sees the most activity in the younger, unvaccinated population.

“Even if you’re young, healthy and don’t have medical problems, you could have a risk for severe disease, or you may just be unlucky or you pass it along to others,” Dr. Bowling said.

Dr. Bowling also says people should feel at ease following the FDA adding a warning that vaccines may cause myocarditis, or an inflammation of the heart.

“The risks for getting this myocarditis with the vaccine are rare, and it tends to be pretty mild, but the risk of getting myocarditis with COVID-19 is actually more common and it can be much more severe,” Dr. Bowling said.

The CDC says since April, more than a thousand reports of myocarditis were recorded, out of more than 177 million people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Protecting others is important to kids like Angelina.

“I think it’s very important, so it’ll keep us safe and also so we don’t spread COVID,” Angelina said.

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