What is it like being part of a COVID-19 vaccine trial?


(WSYR) — Pfizer’s worldwide trial is giving us some hope and possibly the best weapon in the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of the pivotal players are in Central New York.

SUNY Upstate Hospital’s Chief of Infectious Diseases is leading the charge. NEWS10’s sister station in Syracuse spoke with one of the first people anywhere to get the vaccine as part of Upstate’s vaccine trial program.

Annie Tuttle and her wife Melissa got their first COVID-19 vaccine in August, with the second coming 21 days later. Of course, because it’s a trial, they don’t know if they received the placebo, but they have some ideas.

“We’re pretty sure that she had the vaccine,” said Annie.

Melissa had a days worth of mild symptoms after the second round.

“Mild fever, mild fatigue, but after that she was fine,” said Annie. Annie only had a little fatigue, which is not enough to check any boxes in their weekly COVID-19 diary.

When asked about why they participated in the trial, Annie said:

“We believe in science, and we knew that because of this unprecedented time, this would call for an unprecedented vaccine process. So we felt that this was the right thing to do. If there was a chance we could help save lives or get our lives back to normal quicker—both of our families live out of state, so we haven’t been able to see them for over a year—we wanted to do our part and help that process along.”

Annie Tuttle

This process involves check-ups, blood work, and a bit of unknown for the next two years. But, with doctors they trust, they say it’s worth it.

They are hoping to be part of the pandemic’s solution.

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