First Human Coronavirus Vaccine Volunteer Speaks Up
43-year old Jennifer Haller, an American citizen and an operations manager at a small tech company, has volunteered to test for a potential coronavirus vaccination at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle.
According to Associated Press, Jennifer sees this to be an amazing opportunity for her to do something. Her teenage kids were also proud that she’d wanted to get vaccinated. After the injection, she left the exam room with a big smile: “I’m feeling great.”
Three others were next in line for a test that will ultimately give 45 volunteers two doses, a month apart. Neal Browning, 46, of Bothell, Washington, is a Microsoft network engineer who says his young daughters are proud he volunteered.
“Every parent wants their children to look up to them,” he said. But he’s told them not to brag to their friends. “It’s other people, too. It’s not just Dad out there.”
The test for the vaccination began on Monday, 16th March. Even if the research goes well, a vaccine would not be available for widespread use for 12 to 18 months, said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
At a news conference, President Donald Trump praised how quickly the research had progressed. Fauci noted that 65 days have passed since Chinese scientists shared the virus’ genetic sequence. He said he believed that was a record for developing a vaccine to test.
This vaccine candidate, code-named mRNA-1273, was developed by the NIH and Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Moderna Inc. There are no chance participants could get infected because the shots do not contain the coronavirus itself.
It’s not the only potential vaccine in the pipeline. Dozens of research groups around the world are racing to create a vaccine against COVID-19. Another candidate, made by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, is expected to begin its own safety study next month in the U.S., China and South Korea.
The Seattle experiment got underway days after the World Health Organization declared the new virus outbreak a pandemic because of its rapid global spread, which has infected more than 169,000 people and killed more than 6,500.
In word with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Jennifer says that she will have to do daily logs of her temperature, symptoms and side effects and will be monitored for 14 months.