Virginia man shares experience of COVID-19 vaccine trial: “The rewards were so much more better than the risk”

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The demand for a coronavirus vaccine grows by the day, and pressure mounts on companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca to have their doses approved for use.

However, behind the trails for these new vaccines are real people, like J.R. Davis. This Richmonder is one of the many participants in AstraZeneca’s phase three vaccine trial. 

“The rewards were so much more better than the risk,” Davis told WFXR’s sister station on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Davis said he got the first shot in his arm in the beginning of November at Clinical Research Partners in Richmond’s Forest Hill area, and the second one just last week.

“I had an injection in my arm, and it was sore for about three days,” he said. “The next day I got a little fatigue, so figured I might’ve gotten something other besides the placebo.”

Davis said he hasn’t gotten any of the other side affects listed on his 20-plus page consent form, such as swelling of the lips, difficulty breathing, fainting and hives.

But, because of a ‘blind’ trial system, participants like Davis aren’t initially told whether they got the real vaccine or a placebo.

However, Davis said he hasn’t gotten any of the other side effects listed on his 20-plus page consent form, such as swelling of the lips, difficulty breathing, fainting and hives.

“None of that — and that’s a good thing,” Davis said.

However, because the long term effects of a vaccine are still unknown, a bullet point of Davis’ consent form meant he signed up for two years.

With a chance the first vaccine could be approved for emergency use as soon as Thursday, Dec. 10, Davis said he hopes his participation in one trial will help those on the fence make a decision, including people of color

“I’ve had several family members to pass from [COVID-19]. Also, you know, a lot of friends have died because of the virus,” Davis said.

“You know, a lot of us are dying disproportionate amounts, not only African-Americans, but people of color. So I just wanted to do something to help.”

Since Davis doesn’t know for certain if he received a real vaccine, he said he’s hoping to find out before getting another shot when a vaccine gets federal approval.

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