‘I want to make this end as quickly as possible for the rest of the world, ’ says Covid-19 volunteer
- The first human clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine was administered on Monday.
- Four of the 45 volunteers received their first shot of the vaccine created by the National Institute of Health and Moderna, a Boston-based biotech company.
- Some of the volunteers told CNN they signed up to help bring an end to the pandemic.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Two of the volunteers who received the first shots of a clinical coronavirus vaccine shared why the signed up to test out the safety and efficacy of the recently developed vaccine.
Neal Browning and Jennifer Haller are among 45 volunteers who received a trial vaccine developed by the National Institute of Health and private biotech company Moderna.
The vaccine was developed in 42 days.
Browning told CNN's Brooke Baldwin, he signed up to "make this end as quickly as possible."
He explained that in order to qualify, researchers checked to see if volunteers were healthy by performing physicals and blood draws. After being administered the vaccine, he's required to keep a daily chart of his temperature and any side effects he may be experiencing.
Additionally, Browning and other volunteers have their blood drawn every week to ensure the vaccine is working the way it was designed to in their bodies.
Haller told CNN's Chris Cuomo, she was not worried that the vaccine would expose her to the new coronavirus, since it doesn't use the virus at all.
If approved, this vaccine would be the first to use "messenger RNA." The vaccine works by triggering cells to create harmless "spike" proteins, similar to the spikes the real coronavirus uses to attach itself to human cells. The body would then create antibodies to attack the spikes and would thus be prepared if it were to be exposed to the real coronavirus.
"There's no risk to me of contracting the virus through this study. There is no risk to people around me," Haller said. "In fact throughout the whole process of the study, I will never be exposed to the virus. I mean, I may be in real life."
Participants will receive another shot of the vaccine after a month, and will be required to monitor their daily temperature, symptoms, and have weekly blood draws for the four weeks after the second shot as well, Browning told CNN.
Halling explained that some of the risks to the trial included the usual side effects of vaccines, like soreness at the site of injection, but she said she hasn't experienced anything negative.
"Of course there's the big one: this has never been tested on a human before. But I'm doing great. Everything's good," Haller said. "This was something that was easy for me to decide that I wanted to do."
She said she felt "blessed" to have an opportunity to not "feel helpless" at this time and do something.
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