Parents and teens weigh in on teenage COVID-19 vaccine trials
Many Lincoln parents are uncertain about allowing their teens to participate in a vaccine trial.
Moderna is having trouble finding teenage participants for their COVID-19 vaccine trials, according to USA Today.
Here in Lincoln, several parents informed Channel 8 on Facebook that they would not allow their teenagers to participate in a vaccine trial. Ayesha Shinall, a mother of three teenage children, explains why.
“I respect what other parents do, I am not their children’s parents,” Shinall said. “I personally wouldn’t let my kids get a vaccine that I feel was just kind of thrown together. There’s just, it’s like, this thing just dropped out, dropped on the face of the earth and they’re saying, ‘Here you go, we have a vaccine, but we’re not gonna give you a lot of information on it.’ So I personally would not allow my kids to do it.”
Shinall’s 17-year-old daughter, Tai’an Williams, shares her mother’s skepticism of the vaccine. She says she wouldn’t participate in a vaccine trial, even if her mother asked her to.
“I have some friends that have siblings that got it, but personally, I couldn’t,” Williams said. “We just haven’t been able to see the side effects to the vaccine.”
While many Lincoln parents would be reluctant to allow their teens to participate in vaccine trials, others feel that it’s important. Alea Woodward is a mother of four, including two teenaged children. She feels a sense of obligation for her and her children to take the vaccine.
“Somebody did it for my child, somebody took their children and had them vaccinated,” Woodward said. “So I was able to get my children vaccinated for all kinds of things that we don’t have to worry about. I can do that for parents down the line and future parents.”
Woodward’s oldest son in a phlebotomist who has already gotten the vaccine. Her teenage son, Seth, says seeing his older brother take the vaccine was reassuring to him. He says he would consider participating in a vaccine trial.
“I feel like I already trust it enough, because I already know someone that has had it, and they are doing okay,” Seth said.
Both families say they have in-depth, honest conversations about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.
“There’s a lot of talk about sterilization,” Woodward said. “We talk about that and we’re all very honest. We seek out the people that we trust in the medical field to answer those questions for us.”
Shinall and Williams say the rushed nature of the vaccine and limited information about its side effects are enough for the family to opt against participating in a vaccine trial.
“People are rushing it just because they want the pandemic to be over so that they can get back to normal,” Williams said. “That’s just not how it’s gonna work.”
“To me, it’s just not enough information,” Shinall added. “For me to make a call on saying whether I will let my kids do it, at this time, I would never allow my kids to get a vaccine.”
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Nebraska Medical Center tell Channel 8 that they are unaware of any current teenage COVID-19 vaccine trials in the state.