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El Paso 3 & 4-year-old kids taking part in Covid-19 vaccine trial

EL PASO, Texas -- It could be months before a Covid-19 vaccine is approved for kids under the age of 12 in the United States. But vaccine trials are underway, including here in the Borderland.

Several El Paso kids are among the nearly 6,750 kids under the age of 12 participating in a Moderna vaccine trial, including 4-year-old Jonah and 3-year-old Zoe.

Their mother, Margo Lepe, spoke to ABC-7. She said the pandemic for her, like many parents, threw her in for a loop especially when it came to explaining what was happening to her kids.

"Before the pandemic, I was so excited for them to explore the world and then everything shut down," Lepe said.

She said she felt compelled to learn more about what she could do to help protect her kids. That's when she heard about the vaccine trials happening in El Paso. After speaking to pediatricians, she felt like applying for the trial was the best thing to do for family.

"When you step into it, you, like anything, you don't know exactly what you're stepping into," Lepe said. "I didn't know how my kids were going to react, I just could pray and hope that they experienced the least pain, I don't want to hurt them. But I want them to know that we're doing this for the best long term. They're heroes. In my opinion, I was so proud of them."

The two dose, 14-month long trial is being administered by local pediatric clinic, Pinino Pediatrics. The clinic could not speak on the specifics of the trial when ABC-7 reached out for comment.

Jonah and Zoe may be too young to know it now, but the brother and sister could soon help millions more.

"I'm very excited that my kids are able to not just make a difference in our home, but to make a difference here in el paso as well as on a national level if that's possible. that's just the cherry on top. so i feel like we're just doing a small part. and it's making a big difference already for us."

Lepe advises any parent who's on the fence about getting their kid vaccinated….to reach out to their child's pediatrician and weigh the pros and cons.

She said both Johan and Zoe only experienced a little bit of soreness in their arm for a few hours but haven't experienced any major side effects.

They're scheduled to get their next dose in two weeks.

For more information on the trial, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.


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