Sophie and Thomas Holland zoom into MSNBC


Sixth-grader shares vaccination experience, hopes with national audience

May 14, 2021

How does it feel to be one of the first young people in the world to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? That’s exactly what MSNBC’s Chris Jansing asked Sophie Holland ’27, during a live interview conducted from Cary Academy’s campus, yesterday afternoon.

“I just really wanted a way to help out all of the community and a way to get out of this pandemic, so that we can all be safe and go back to normal lifestyles,” Sophie told Jansing.

Sophie – who participated in a double-blind vaccine trial of 12- to 15-year-olds conducted by Duke University and Pfizer-BioNTech – appeared with her father, Thomas Holland, MD. Dr. Holland, a hospital physician and infectious disease specialist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, has been working on COVID-19 since the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, leading in-patient clinical teams caring for COVID-19 patients while helping other infectious disease experts better understand the virus and the health emergency it posed.

Hours prior to the interview, Sophie was “unblinded,” receiving word from vaccine trial officials that she had, in fact, received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, rather than the placebo. Sophie says she’s looking forward to spending time in person with close friends, now that they can receive the vaccine.

Written by Dan Smith, Digital Content Producer and Social Media Manager

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