Former BC resident participating in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trial

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A former Vancouver resident shares his first-hand experience as one of the thousands who have agreed to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials around the world.

Peter Wearing, who now lives in Arizona, is participating in the stage 3 trial for the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The UK-based drugmaker’s vaccine is seen as an important part of the vaccine solution, as it does not need to be carried at supercooled temperatures and is offered at a fraction of the price of its competitors.

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These two elements make it particularly promising for developing countries.

“I felt like I was healthy and had vaccines in the past and never had any side effects, so I felt like I would do my part,” Wearing told Global News.

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Canadian responsible for the international manufacture of Moderna vaccines


Canadian responsible for the international manufacture of Moderna vaccines

“On my first visit, I signed a lot of documents, they took four vials of blood, I had a medical examination from a doctor.

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He then received two injections, two months apart – the second just two days ago. Porter is not sure if he is getting the actual vaccine or if he is part of a control group given a placebo.

He said some people had reactions typical of a flu shot, such as a rash or fever, but they didn’t.

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“You don’t even really feel it come in, it’s a fine needle. The next day your muscle is a little sore, ”he says.

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Oxford and AstraZeneca reported in November that their vaccine appeared to be 62% effective in people who received two doses and 90% when volunteers received a half dose followed by a full dose.


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Federal government, provinces and Canadian Armed Forces accelerate COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan


Federal government, provinces and Canadian Armed Forces accelerate COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan

It later emerged that they discovered the benefit of the half dose due to a manufacturing error that saw some people get a lower dose unintentionally. The company may conduct a future clinical trial specifically around the half-dose and then the full-dose program.

Wearing said it was important for him to participate because he still remembers a time when children commonly contracted polio. The development of vaccines is essential to eradicate this disease.

“I have a lot of friends who are anti-vaxxers. I mean, they’re pretty serious about it, they even challenged me about it, ”he said.

“About five years ago I took the time to read what they said was their research and then I read the counter research. I am a scientist, I love science, and eventually I fell for mainstream science.

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Wearing said he’s committed to the project for two years and that doctors will continue to take blood samples to test Wearing for antibodies to the virus.

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But he was also told that if he is, in fact, in the placebo group, he will receive the vaccine himself if and when he gets approval in the United States.

“The fact that it’s happening so quickly, less than a year, is really exciting,” he said.

Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but it’s unclear when it could get regulatory approval.

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