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COVID-19 vaccine trial underway in South Texas

SAN ANTONIO – The first round of people participating in a COVID-19 vaccine trial in South Texas were given a dose Thursday.

The double blind Pfizer trial is different than a vaccine trial being conducted by Moderna, which is set to begin Friday after being delayed for a few days.

“I can’t think of a more important clinical trial to participate in than this one, since this is the biggest health threat of my life,” said Dr Steven Davis, one of the first participants taking part in the Pfizer trial. ”I’m a big believer in clinical trials. We at my own practice, we do clinical trials. And if it weren’t for clinical trials, we wouldn’t have things like polio vaccine.”

Though the trial is a double blind study and Davis isn’t sure whether he, his wife or son will be given the actual vaccine or a placebo, he said he’s glad to be given the opportunity to participate.

”They want to test people who are over 65. And both I and my wife are over 65. They want to test people who are directly involved in health care. And both I and my son, who’s working in my office, are directly involved in health care,” Davis said.

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To participate in the Pfizer trial, you must be 18 or older and call Clinical Trials of Texas, the lab hosting the study, to get screened.

”We want to know and try to determine ... If they do have an illness or a condition, is it under control? We want to know what medications they’re on,” said CTT CEO, Kay Scroggins.

Like the other trials, researchers assure participants that they cannot become infected with the coronavirus by recieving the Pfizer vaccine, which isn’t live.

”It’s a particle of the virus. And so when when the virus is administered, it will elicit hopefully an immune response,” Scroggins said.

If the trial is successful and all goes as planned, the Pfizer vaccine could be available to the public as early as the beginning of next year.

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Clinical Trials of Texas is looking to screen thousands of more people to participate in the two-year Pfizer study as well as at least two other COVID-19 vaccine trial studies that are expected to kick off in the next few months.

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