Four Maryville College employees participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials
Four Maryville College employees are doing more than wearing masks and physical distancing to combat COVID-19, they’re participating in COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials.
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Four Maryville College employees are doing more than wearing masks and physical distancing to combat COVID-19, they’re participating in COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials.
The trials are administered by the Volunteer Research Group at UT Medical Center.
According to a release, months ago, Sheena Lucas, Dr. Becky Lucas, Dr. Andrew Irvine and Dr. Chad Schrock all volunteered to be injected with the experimental vaccine. Sheena Lucas is participating in the Moderna vaccine trial while others are in the Pfizer trial.
The studies are set to last two years, and it has entered phase three of testing at the beginning of August.
“Both of my parents work at the CDC, so public health and science have always been a big part of my family,” said Sheena Lucas, an assistant athletic trainer at the College. “This is an important step in being able to mass-produce a vaccine for the greater populations. Someone has to do it, so why not me?”
According to a release, participants have not had restrictions on their daily lives. They are encouraged to continue living life as normal and keep performing their daily activities.
Dr. Becky Lucas says that participants need to be in situations where they could potentially be exposed to COVID-19.
“After both of my injections, my arm was just really sore. I had a lot of muscle soreness and I had a hard time sleeping that night,” said Becky. “I did not have any COVID-19 symptoms but I don’t know if I was given the vaccine or not.”
All of the employees have periodically returned to UT Medical Center for checkups and blood withdrawals. Weekly check-ins have been performed and they all had to report if they were experiencing any side effects of COVID-19 symptoms.
On Nov. 9, 2020, Pfizer announced that early data from their trial showed that the vaccine was more than 90% effective. On Wednesday, Pfizer announced that final analysis of their vaccine pointed to a 95% efficacy rate.
Moderna reported earlier this week that its candidate vaccine, mRNA-1273, has been found to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection by 94.5%.
Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.