COVID-19 vaccine trial for kids underway in Lake Nona

The COVID-19 vaccine is being given to kids for the first time. A trial is being conducted to make sure the shot is safe and effective for them, as well.

Dr. Salma Elfaki is the pediatrician tasked with running the Moderna trial for children.

"We just started yesterday and everybody did great, we didn’t have anyone have a reaction," said Dr. Elfaki.

Dr. Elfaki said the vaccine is exactly the same as what’s being given to adults.

"Usually in studies, you start with the adults, once you have all the safety data, then you start going into the younger age groups," said Dr. Elfaki.

The one-year study will include 3,000 teens nationwide --  400 kids have already signed up, locally.

One of those teens is 14-year-old Tristan Junga, who got his shot Friday.

"Definitely exciting, kind of nervous," said Junga. "I just want our vaccine to come out quickly, so we can go back to sports, school, and everything because I’ve been taking online school."

MORE NEWS: Women, 34 and 44, dressed up as seniors to get COVID-19 vaccine, officials say

Junga tells FOX 35 News he misses his friends.

"I’ve been with them all since like sixth grade and so, it’s kind of hard transitioning, I haven’t seen them for like a year," said Junga.

The young man wants to be an aeronautical engineer when he grows up. He says he’s proud to be part of one big science experiment.

"I’m a little worried, kind of nervous about blood draws but I think I should be fine," said Junga.

His mother, Alicia, who’s a participant in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial said it warms her heart to see her son volunteer.

"I am very proud," she added, "very happy and excited that my son was willing and excited to be part of helping science."

This trial is for kids ages 13-17. The next round of trials will be for 12 and under. Those are expected to start in a few months.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.