I Just Got a Covid Vaccine

Felted Coronovirus by Brooke Schmeds in Instructables.

Well, maybe. This morning I began my participation, along with 30,000 other people in the world, in the third stage trial of the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. A doctor at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center gave me an exam, then a nurse took my temperature, checked my blood pressure and administered a nasal Covid test and drew blood for an antibody test. After a short wait, another nurse gave me an injection that has a 50/50 chance of being the vaccine or a placebo. Then they made me sit around for a half hour to make sure that I didn’t have any adverse side effects (I didn’t).

Here’s how Pfizer describes the vaccine I may have received:

The investigational vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. It is a kind of vaccine that gives a body’s cells instructions to make viral proteins that can be recognized by the immune system. It contains a small part of the genetic code for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. By delivering the mRNA to the body’s cells, the viral protein is expressed and an immune system response is generated against it, with the goal of preventing COVID-19 disease. The vaccine does not contain any live virus or the parts of the virus that can make a person sick.

In a month I’ll return to Kaiser for a booster shot as well as more visits for blood tests to see if my immune system made antibodies. They also gave me an app to report symptoms as well as my very own personal Covid test kit in case I have Covid symptoms (that, to be clear, won’t be caused by the vaccine but could happen if I, say, start attending TikTok influencer parties in the Hollywood hills). Don’t worry, I’m too old for TikTok influencer parties.

I won’t ever know the results of the antibody tests. If my covid test came up positive they will let me know. Once an approved vaccine is released I’ll find out if I got the vaccine or the placebo. For my troubles they gave me a $200 payment.

I heard about the vaccine trial in a local paper and registered on the Pfizer website immediately. I really want to help people in this crisis but since Kelly is at risk for Covid I can’t do things like volunteer at my local food bank. I thought this study would be a good way to help stop this horrible pandemic while not putting Kelly at risk. Plus I thought it would be interesting to see what a vaccine trial is like from the inside.

If you’d like to sign up for the trial head over to www.covidvaccinestudy.com. Sign up soon because I think slots are filling up.

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16 Comments

  1. I have been on the other side, the inside of research and it is interesting. I loved hearing about this. Stay safe for Kelly.

  2. Brave! Not “brave-but-stupid”….actually brave! Honestly, if you end up being in the vaccinated group and end up having no side effects, this will strongly influence my decision to be an early adopter. After starting to travel to the more “adventurous” parts of Mexico, I have become a pin cushion with no ill effects. If the vaccine looks like quality and not a rush job, jab it in.

  3. That’s pretty exciting!

    I volunteered. I wasn’t selected. I’m disappointed.

    I was a “Polio Pioneer” when I was about 7yo. Everyone in my school lined up and got a (series of 3) shot/s and a little metal “Polio Pioneer” lapel pin. I think it was about 6 months before I found out that I had received the actual vaccine.

    At that age I was thrilled to think I wasn’t going to need to get any more shots. Not a thought to relief that I wouldn’t get polio as so many kids had in the previous years.

    I had hoped at 73 I could sort of bookend my life testing one life changing vaccine and then another.

    …maybe next pandemic. ;> But thanks for being a Covid Pioneer!

    • I’m a bit younger than you, so I got the polio vaccine in the form of liquied dropped on a sugar cube. Best vaccine ever!

    • Good for you for being a polio pioneer. My sixth grade class read Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio — a memoir of the author Peg Kehret–who contracted polio in 1949. One of my students came to school one day without the book, because her mother was reading it. I also showed them the PBS video, The Polio Crusade.
      My students did projects on The March of Dimes, Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin, and Sister Kenny.

    • There’s a whole bunch of things people today don’t know about like iron lungs that kept people alive by, basically, confining their lives to a cylinder about the size of a coffin that created and released pressure that kept their lungs functional. There were rooms full of them. With people lying supine inside who interacted with the world through a mirror as they gazed ceilingward.

      Polio, like Covid, is something best remembered once it’s contained. I hope that day comes soon in the case of this virus and we’ll thank folks like Mr. Homegrown who make their contribution to a viable vaccine becoming a reality.

    • I was born in 1951 so I had to get the polio shots. I was terrified of shots but more terrified of iron lungs which I saw a lot of on TV. And the only thing more terrifying than iron lungs was the A-bomb. I used to have nightmares about both. No, I’m not at all nostalgic about the fifties.

  4. Sad, but true, that too many vaccines cause serious side effects such as the polio vaccines given to the small children in Africa where so very many thousands died..not from polio but from the vaccine.
    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/polio-cases-now-caused-vaccine-wild-virus-67287290

    But what’s troubling is that there are currently more kids being paralyzed by cases of vaccine-derived polio than by the original “wild” variety.”

    No different with the HPV vaccine causing many young girls serious side effects and health issues. And also the childhood vaccines causing Autism. These things are not hidden but easily researched with much valid testing and documentation.

    Please, do your due diligence before jumping on all kinds of “bandwagons” caused by panic and paranoia. Too many Americans use so many drugs that cause even worse side effects than whatever
    man-contrived diseases march down the pike – – first the contrived disease than the “cure” that only causes more serious health issues. Hence more drugs and the beat goes on and on.

    • Information from the Mayo Clinic concerning the debunked rumors that vaccines cause autism: https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/autism-vaccine-link-debunked

      I urge childhood vaccine skeptics to do two things:

      1. Walk through a 19th century/early 20th century cemetery and look for the children’s grave markers–some with little lambs on them.
      2. Examine death lists (“mortality schedules”) from years before vaccines–and note the numbers of little children who died from diseases that are now preventable.

      Cindy (who is old enough to remember a childhood before the Salk polio vaccine)

    • Since Reagan signed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, the number of childhood vaccines has more than quadrupled. When you aren’t allowed to sue the vaccine maker in the case of an injury, that should tell you something. But people continue to want to rely on a government agency to keep them safe instead of taking responsibility for their own health.

  5. Thank you, Erik, for doing this for all of humanity.

    My parents recently shared memories of being children in the 1950s when polio was still a threat. They remember being confined to playing in their own backyards during outbreaks and peers being crippled for life as a result of the disease. Thanks to vaccines, the only childhood illness I had as a late Gen Xer was chicken pox. I still have a few scars from that – including on my face.

    For readers who find themselves drifting into anti-vax territory but are still open to reason, I highly recommend reading the book On Immunity by Eula Biss.

  6. Thank you for volunteering to do this. It gives a bit of hope, to know a vaccine is moving forward with care and standards.

    I’ve been living the home school lockdown life here in Victoria so haven’t caught up with my regular blogs lately due to general weirdness. Please pass on my best wishes and prayers for healing and recovery to Kelly.

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