coronavirus pandemic

12-Year-Old San Diegan Takes Part in Vaccine Trial

Evie is your typical 12-year-old kid. She loves to play video games, hang out with her dogs, and be with family

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Evie Spengler, 12, is one brave kid. So much is still unknown about COVID-19 and what lies ahead, but Evie told NBC 7 she had no reservations about getting signed up to take part in the vaccine trial for adolescents.

“I was a little nervous, but after one or two of the appointments I had, all of the nerves were gone,” Evie says.

Her mom, Jennifer Spengler, says Evie wasn’t even supposed to participate in the trial. Jennifer says she’s the one who reached out, wanting to partake but was turned down because they were seeking people around Evie’s age group.

“When I went to dinner that night, literally at the dinner table I said, 'I can’t do it anymore,'” Jennifer says. “'They’re only taking kids 12-15,' and Evie immediately said, 'Well then, I can do it.'”

Evie is your typical 12-year-old kid. She loves to play video games, hang out with her dogs, and be with family. She’s a competitive soccer player, but she’s proving to be a champion off the field, by seizing this opportunity aware she is experiencing a vaccine before it has been widely released to her age group.

“It’s been hard just from like having to stay home and do things like that,” Evie says. “But every minute of every day we’re getting closer and smaller bits getting back to normal life.”

Evie’s journey will be a long one as she will be monitored for two years. She keeps a digital journal of symptoms and takes a self-administered COVID-19 test every two weeks. She took her first shot in December and three weeks later, the second.

Evie says she’s felt symptom-free for the most part, aside from arm soreness from the first shot and fatigue and headaches from the second shot. These symptoms occurred after the shot was administered and in the days that followed. The Spengler's say they are unaware if she was given a placebo or the vaccine.

As for the mother, she says she’s been worried about the potential feedback they might receive but says they trust the pediatricians and science. She also hopes this will give parents the confidence to vaccinate their kids.

“I trust pediatricians I talk to, including Evie’s pediatrician. So I feel good about that, and I hope I can share that with other parents,” Jennifer says.

Evie says she's doing this for the greater good and is hopeful this will get her age group that much closer to getting vaccinated.

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