As US mulls starting vaccinations in December and Pfizer looks at several opportunities to make its COVID-19 vaccine available in India, several volunteers who participated in the US trials have started reporting side effects from the shot. One of the volunteers of the trial, Texas lobbyist Glenn Deshields compared side effects of the shot as being similar to "a severe hangover" whereas another one, 45-year old Carrie said that she went through fever, body aches and headache after the second shot.
Here's what the volunteers reported
Deshileds said that he scheduled an antibody test via his physician and the reports came back positive, thus, confirming that he had not received the placebo. The Texas lobbyist who went on to equate his experience as a COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteer to the end of WW-I was quoted by Mirror.co.uk as saying, "My grandfather, one of his first memories was of the bells ringing when World War I ended. It was a horrific war and horrible things happened and people were just happy it was over with. In my mind I felt the same way... I kind of felt it was something like that. Thank god, it's going to be over at some point."
The 45-year old Carrie, who works in publishing, believes that being a part of the trial was a "civic duty". She said, "The thought that we could do something to stop people from this, from losing family members, that we could get rid of it and get back to some sort of normal in our lives- that's a driving factor for this for me. I don't want anyone else to be sick."
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trials update
More than 43,500 volunteers across 6 countries have participated in the phase-3 trials run jointly by the New York-headquartered pharma giant and the German pharma behemoth BioNTech. The trials for the mRNA-based Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine-BNT162b2-- are double blind implying that the participant does not know whether they have been administered a vaccine or a placebo.
Out of the total number of volunteers enrolled, 38,955 have received a second dose of the vaccine candidate as of November 8, 2020. According to Pfizer, "The trial is continuing to enroll and is expected to continue through the final analysis when a total of 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases have accrued."