People around the world are anxiously waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine or some form of treatment to arrive so that we can all get back to normalcy. Vaccine trials have been in affect since March and one woman in Seattle was the first to undergo an experimental vaccine.
This is 43-year-old Jennifer Haller of Ballard, WA. According to KOMO News, she feels “fantastic” 16 weeks later. This vaccine was given on March 16 by bio-tech company, Moderna and National Institutes of Health.
“This vaccine uses messenger RNA,” Haller said. “My understanding its new and unique. Other trials are using other technologies.”
“Messenger RNA is what Moderna is doing,” added Neal Browning, who is a COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteer as well. “Your body becomes the factory that makes the particles that represent a virus. So then, your body can react to it. The whole tried-and-true method is where they take a weakened or dead version of the virus and inject that into the person to get the immune response.”
This clinical trial is being conducted by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute as 45 adults in Seattle received two doses of this vaccine, all a month apart. Safety is also ensured to the participants as these shots don’t contain the virus itself.
“Moderna released results a few weeks ago that showed the first eight of us have antibodies and that presumably that means that the vaccine should be effective against the virus,” continued Haller after receiving her shots four months later.
While Haller hasn’t experienced the virus at all since then, she is still very cautious and moving carefully like others are. This includes everyday activities like wearing a mask.
“I’m taking same precautions as everyone else–wearing a mask out in public,” Haller said. “I’m not assuming that I have any special immunity.”
“I’m hopeful Moderna is one of the ones that makes it out of the gate first, and we can start getting this into the hands of professionals that need it the most,” said Browning.
Moderna now plans to enter phase 3 of this vaccine trial in August. More than 150 COVID-19 vaccines are being developed worldwide. 20 experimental vaccines are being tested in humans. Hopefully, we can all get one of these vaccines fully confirmed to be safe and distributed quickly. People cannot afford to continue to be unsafe, lose their jobs due to fear of the spread of the virus, and possibly pass on the virus. They must continue to wear masks every single day to prevent this so we can have our world back again.