Austin Regional Clinic now enrolling kids 12-17 in COVID-19 vaccine trials


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Medical Research Department of Austin Regional Clinic is actively looking to enroll juvenile patients to participate in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.

Children aged 12 to 17 will be selected for the series consisting of two shots and several months of follow up. According to ARC, Pfizer is the first COVID-19 vaccine trial to include children.

Participants will be compensated $125 per office visit for their time and contributions to the study.

“Making sure we study the vaccine among all populations who will need to use it is a top priority. The virus is not going away anytime soon and developing a vaccine that is safe for all people of all ages is the most promising path to save lives and help us reconnect with our friends and family and return to the activities we all enjoy,” said Dr. Gretchen Crook, the principal investigator for ARC Clinical Research.

Dr. Jay Zdunek, the Chief Medical Officer for Austin Regional Clinic said the trials are safe and highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Part of the incentive is to help develop a process, a vaccine that can help us safely enter a state of normalcy that we are used to,” Dr. Zdunek said. “The overall safety of the trials is very rigorously looked at and governed.”

Even still many parents and grandparents said they feel uneasy opting in their child for an unapproved drug before it gets distributed widely to the public.

“Jeanette Wright, a parent of five and grandparent of eight, said she wouldn’t want any of them to be a part of this trial.

“I just don’t think we should be putting our children in that position,” Wright said. “Who knows what we are asking for.”

Other parents welcomed the opportunity and saw it as an opportunity to help the world.

Joshua Bernstein, a father of two, said he would enroll his daughters if they wanted to as long as it was being run by reputable and trustworthy companies.

“These are big companies who are well established, who know what they are doing and have a business incentive to get it right,” Bernstein said. “This is for the greater public health.”

To enroll your child in the COVID-19 vaccine trials, you can go to and click the request to participate button or call (512) 225-5931.

The Austin Regional Clinic has already enrolled more than 200 adult patients for the trial.

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