By Dave Gear
I asked myself a question early into the pandemic: Beyond wearing a mask and social distancing, what could I do to be part of the solution to our current COVID-19 crisis? As a result — and over the objections of most of my family — I entered into AMR Wichita’s COVID-19 vaccine trial.
The vaccine was first tested on participants under the age of 55 in Belgium and then brought here to the United States for further trials on people over the age of 55.
After I joined the study in September, a physician and medical team took an extensive history and I received a complete physical, including an EKG and blood work.
Since then, I have had six appointments and received one injection with no adverse reactions. I will receive a second injection in early December followed by continued monitoring of my health status. The study lasts for 15 months. I do not know if I received the actual vaccine or placebo.
You may wonder why anyone would want to be a part of this study and expose themselves to a vaccine that has not completely passed clinical trials. Here’s my rationale: I may be a part of the solution rather than just waiting to see if I’m included in the rising statistics that we are hearing about every day. In addition, the research doctors and nurses are watching my overall health very closely. Finally, I am rewarded financially each time I go in for a follow-up visit.
We all know relatively easy ways to help during the pandemic: Wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands. To be part of the solution, consider becoming part of a study. Take care and please stay safe out there.
By Dave Gear