‘I Thought It Was Important’: Oklahoma Kids Taking Part In COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Monday, September 20th 2021, 10:35 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Some Oklahoma kids are taking part in COVID-19 vaccine trials for kids ages 5-11. Their parents said they want to protect their kids as well as make sure the vaccine is safe for others.

Some of the kids taking part said it's been pretty cool to be some of the first ones to possibly get vaccinated.

"I called them up and got them on the list and was so excited," said Emily Padalino.

Padalino is from Tulsa and got her two older kids, 14-year-old Ella and 12-year-old Alexis, in Moderna trials a few months ago. She now knows they both received the actual vaccine instead of a placebo and said the side effects were mild.

"I thought it was important to get the vaccine," Ella said. "I was excited."

Padalino is a doctor and said with COVID-19 getting worse, she was thrilled to also get her 10-year-old daughter Lily enrolled in the younger age group trials. Lily got her first dose in August in Oklahoma City.

"I was excited, but I really don't like shots," Lily said.

Padalino said she still doesn't know for sure if Lily got the vaccine or a placebo, but the side effects make her think Lily got the real thing too.

Other parents say going back to school was a huge reason to enroll kids in the trials.

"Once we got in the study it made it easier," said Kasey Malone.

Malone enrolled her 10-year-old daughter Elliot in the Moderna trials and Elliot got her second dose a little over a week ago.

"I did want to get vaccinated even though I wasn't old enough," said Elliot.

Malone believes it's a way to help others and get this pandemic over sooner.

"I think it's really cool, I can't wait to tell my grandkids this," Elliot said.

"The unknowns from COVID are so much greater than this vaccine," said Padalino. "The technology has been studied for 20 years. It's the safest thing we can do for our children."

Both moms will know if their daughters got the real shot or placebo if the vaccines are FDA approved. If they got the placebo, they can still get the vaccine.