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9-year-old Clay County girl participates in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:24 PM EDT
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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - 9-year-old Althea Madden is your typical kid.

“I do horseback riding lessons every Tuesday. I play a lot of music. I like to play ukulele, piano,” she said.

However, as she and other children 12 and under wait to receive their vaccine shot, she is making history by changing lives.

“I feel good, I’m glad I’m doing something to actually help the world,” she said.

She is participating in a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial for children in her age group.

“I don’t think there’s a more powerful way for me to speak about my confidence in the vaccination process other than to involve my pride and joy in something like a vaccination study,” said her father Dr. Jared Madden.

The study is conducted through a pediatrics office in Lexington.

“My visits they were very simple like my dad said...a simple shot, a blood draw,” said Althea. “There was also a nose swab and we did a couple of telemeds.”

Althea has received two doses of either the vaccine or the placebo. She and her family will soon find out which she has received. If it was the placebo, she will receive the real shot.

“I felt good, no pain like my dad said a little temperature rise but other than that, I felt perfectly fine,” she said.

In her participation, her father wants to encourage other families to receive their vaccine.

“They may not know virology, they may not know immunology but they know Dr. Madden’s kid had it,” Jared said. “[I don’t] have anything to gain, and if [my] daughter can do it, so can [another] child.”

Althea said her experience was pleasant.

“It does not hurt. I was completely fine after I got the shot and there is nothing to be afraid of,” she said.

For information on Madden Family Practice, you can call or text 606-594-9129.

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