URMC, RRH start vaccinating volunteers for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine test

Patrick Moussignac
Created: July 31, 2020 06:14 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — This week both the University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health started vaccinating volunteers who are participating in the Pfizer Phase 3 clinical test.

News10NBC talked to one volunteer to hear his experience so far in this critical testing stage.

Researchers can't develop a vaccine without people like Craig Erickson.

"I'm interested in the science of the virus, and how it can be controlled, and if I can have some small part in that I'm happy to participate," Erickson said.

He is one of the types of volunteers researches have been asking for. The retired Chemist from Kodak turns 76 next month and has no underlying health conditions. Before receiving his first shot Friday morning, he described the process.

"Well they asked a million questions," Craig said. "They want to make sure they know everything that they need to know about your health, that you don't have any conditions that would hurt the trial."

Erickson was then given a smartphone to log in every day to fill out the questions regarding his daily health before getting his vaccine. Each volunteer received either a placebo or a real dose of the experimental vaccine.

"I didn't even feel the shot when they gave it to me. It was one of the easiest shots I’ve ever had in my life, and I get the flu vaccine every year," Erickson said.

He left with a checklist of symptoms to look out for.

"Fever, aches, pains, loss of sense of smell, and taste. That type of thing" Erickson said.

Doctors will continue to monitor Erickson, and the other test volunteers for the next two years. Next month they will all receive a booster shot. We will continue to follow this story.

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