First Person To Test Coronavirus Vaccine Speaks Out

Published on March 22, 2020
Source: Associated Press

The first person to test a potential coronavirus vaccine recently spoke about her experience. Per an interview with Refinery29, Jennifer Halle from Seattle said, “My understanding is that it’s similar to what they’ve done with MERS and SARS, and that the good that can come from it is so much greater than anything that can happen to me, even if it was the worst. I’m a positive person and I don’t really focus on the potential downsides here.“

The Coronavirus Crisis

The COVID-19 outbreak has been rampant appears to not be slowing down anytime soon. Experts have advised citizens to shelter in place but not everyone is taking it seriously. There have been confirmed cases in every state in America, and other countries like Italy are struggling more by the day.

While an actual vaccine that can be safely administered may take as long as a year to create, the human trials being conducted now are a sign of hope. Halle described in her interview was the trial process was like.
“I’ll be getting two rounds. The first one was yesterday. I’ll be keeping a journal of any symptoms and my temperature and everything for the next two weeks. We’ll do a phone follow-up today and tomorrow, and then in a week I’ll go back in for a blood draw, a week after that I’ll go in for another blood draw. And then four weeks from yesterday, I’ll go in for the second dose [of the vaccine] — and I’ll repeat that whole process again. Then throughout the next 14 or 18 months I’ll have a handful of visits for blood draws.”

The race against the clock to “flatten the curve” as experts are saying is immense. At least 395 people have died in the US alone (per a CNN report) and confirmed cases only seem to be increasing every day. Although there was a popular rumor saying it didn’t affect younger people as much, the actual reports say otherwise. This virus isn’t discriminating against the young, the old, the rich or the poor. Staying at home and social distancing may seem like an inconvenience to many, but it’s far better than dying in a hospital that’s running low on ventilators.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Although the news seems utterly dire at this point regarding the worldwide pandemic, brave citizens like Jennifer Halle and the hope of a coronavirus vaccine are the dose of hope the world needs. It may get a lot worse before it gets better, but at least there are citizens willing to take a risk to get something done to help the greater good.

Although experts don’t anticipate a vaccine being ready anytime soon, hopefully the world is one step closer to flattening the curve so that life can begin to return to normal.

Katherine Stinson is an award-winning journalist and Staff Reporter at Grit Daily News, where she covers Texas and Southern states' startup and entrepreneurship news. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she also contributes to ScreenRant, Outlander TV News, and San Antonio Magazine.

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