COVID Vaccine Trials

How are the COVID vaccine trials going?


Emma Smith

COVID vaccine trials are spending up, is the vaccine close?

COVID vaccines are officially out.  But what was the process behind making them? How do we know they are safe? Thousands of Americans have volunteered to be test subjects for the covid vaccines. They were given either the real vaccine or a placebo. Scientists tracked subjects’ reactions in order to see how the vaccine affected humans.

“It’s a 25 month trial,” said Nancy Barter, a WCA alumna who volunteered for the Moderna study. “On my first appointment, they gave me the vaccine and they took a bunch of blood, and then a month later I went back when they gave me the booster shot and then they took a bunch of blood again.”  Her blood was tested for antibodies, which would prove that the vaccine works.  

Though Barter does not yet officially know whether she was given the real vaccine or a placebo, she has her suspicions. “Because [my] side effects don’t occur with the placebo, I’m pretty sure I got the vaccine”. After her first shot, Barter’s only complaint was a very sore arm. After the booster shot, she experienced chills, exhaustion, headaches, and nausea for 36 hours. These awful side effects did not go unnoticed by the scientists. Barter gives weekly reports on how she feels and receives a “safety call” once a month. Soon, Barter will receive a call from Saint LouisUniversity, informing her if she was in a control group (the group who received the placebo), or if she received the vaccine. “If I am in a control group, they’re giving me an option to get vaccinated at the front of the lines,” said Barter. 

But why did Barter get involved with the testing in the first place? Barter explains, “I thought of people like my parents and the elderly whose lives have been so drastically impacted by [COVID] …I’ve seen that first hand and it’s been awful. I think that was my inspiration”.  As a person not particularly at risk individual, Barter took it upon herself to help save the lives of people who are seriously endangered by the Covid pandemic. She highly encourages everyone to get the vaccine as soon as it is open to the public. “I’ve been very impressed by the ethical way that the vaccine study has been run… especially when the government started talking about emergency  authorization.”  The government made sure to inform Barter that she would not be “kept in the dark” or “put at risk”.

Barter feels that her experience with the vaccine trials was a positive. She is proud to be part of a country with such fast and effective healthcare. Barter’s faith in the Covid vaccines should be a testimony to the safety and effective results they will have. Because of the success of these trials, the American public kicked off a mass vaccination program this week. Many have high hopes that these vaccines will mean the beginning of the end of the covid pandemic.