First COVID-19 Vaccine Volunteers in US Describe Experience and Side Effects as San Francisco Bay Area Kicks Off Trials

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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – As we first reported on ABC7 News, a Phase 3 trial for the AstraZeneca vaccine will begin in the Bay Area this month. It’s one of six companies that are part of the US government’s Operation Warp Speed ​​to develop a vaccine, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health is encouraging people to volunteer for the AstraZeneca trial. So, in order to get a feel for what attendees might expect, ABC7 reporter Kate Larsen spoke to the first people to receive a trial vaccine in the USJennifer, Neal, Ian and Judy are all signed up for trials for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Massachusetts biotech company Moderna and the federal government. On March 16, Seattle resident Jennifer Haller was the first person to United States to be injected with the experimental vaccine.

“Looking back now, I realize how important that really was,” Haller said.

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Neal Browning finished second in the Phase 1 trial, which took place in the Seattle area.

“Initially there was some apprehension,” he said. “I knew it hadn’t been tested on animals before. We were both the first tests on humans and the first animals. With each day progressing to this point a week after the first injection, I felt more and more secure with what was happening. ”

Besides mild shoulder pain at the injection site, Browning and Haller say they never had side effects.

“I feel fantastic, no side effects for me,” Haller said.

Moderna has tested three doses of the vaccine. Each participant received two injections, one month apart. Ian Haydon received the highest dose, ten times the low dose from Jennifer and Neal.

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“After the first injection all I had was a little pain in the arm in the shoulder where I received the injection, but for the second injection a month later I had Other problems. For about 24 hours, I had a fever, and a headache, nausea, things like that, ”Haydon explained.

Haydon, a healthy 29-year-old man, also passed out at home after a trip to emergency care. “I did some blood tests, they actually gave me a COVID-19 test because at the time it wasn’t clear what was happening to me. ”

Haydon has tested negative for COVID. “A few days later it became clear that I had too much of an immune reaction to this high dose of the vaccine. ”

Haydon says that due to the side effects he and a few other high-dose participants experienced, Moderna is no longer testing that 250 microgram dose. The company chose to go ahead with phase 3 trials using the average dose of 100 micrograms because the vaccine produced a “rapid and strong immune response” in the 45 people tested in phase 1. , regardless of the dose received.

“I’ve been following the trial since Ian was one of the first 45 people,” said Judy Stokes, a Sacramento resident.

Stokes is Haydon’s mother. Inspired by her son, she signed up for Moderna’s Phase 3 trial when it was announced in Sacramento.

“I really didn’t know if they would want me,” she said. “I’m 68 and I have heart disease and high blood pressure, but it turns out that’s exactly what they wanted. They wanted a diverse group of people and the most vulnerable to the virus.

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She received her first injection last week and is not sure whether she received the vaccine or a placebo. “They’re watching us and will stay that way for two years, it’s almost like an added bonus. ”

In addition to shoulder pain on the day of the injection, all four participants share a similar view of vaccine trials.

“We all want a coronavirus vaccine, but we’re not going to get one unless people volunteer to participate,” Haydon said.

When reporter Kate Larsen asked Haller and Browning if they would volunteer again, Haller replied, “Yes, absolutely”, and Browning replied, “Same here.”

Stokes says whether it’s the Moderna vaccine or another, she thinks one of the trials will be successful. “I have hope, this one or that one, I have hope.

You can find more information about the AstraZeneca Bay Area trial, including how to register, by clicking here. ”

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