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Clinical Trial For COVID Vaccine For Kids Beginning In Jacksonville

A Northwell Health lab technician uses the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid tester in this file photo.
A Northwell Health lab technician uses the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid tester in this file photo.

Children ages 12 to 17 are needed in a trial for the Novovax vaccine, which uses a protein therapeutic to attack the coronavirus, unlike the current vaccines currently in use.

A clinical trial of the Novovax coronavirus vaccine gets underway next week in Jacksonville for children 12 to 17 years-old.

Dr. Michael Koren is with the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research,  which is leading the study, which is seeking participants. Parents can enroll their children in the study at

Koren said Thursday on "First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross" that Novovax differs from other vaccines currently in use.

Where Johnson & Johnson uses the actual virus, and Pfizer and Moderna employ Messenger RNA to trigger the body’s immune response, he said, “Novovax makes something called a protein therapeutic. They genetically engineer the spike protein. So using a small concentration of spike protein, we’re able to get the immune system ready to fight off COVID-19.”

Koren said the Novovax study is what’s called a cross-over, meaning that every participant will have gotten the vaccine by the end of the blind trial.

The interview with Koren is available on Thursday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, which encores Thursday night at 8 on WJCT News 89.9.
Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Copyright 2021 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.