JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization for its experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Early results show the company’s Phase 3 clinical trials appear to be 95 percent effective. Also, 94 percent effective for people 65 years and older.
A Brandon man is one of 50 thousand people taking part in the study and in a 3 On Your Side exclusive, he describes the experience and why he’s doing it.
“I wanted to be part of the study. I mean this study is historic,” Bill Blair said.
So the 67-year-old literally rolled up his sleeve and volunteered to be what he calls a human guinea pig for Pfizer taking either a real vaccine or a placebo.
”The only person that knows what you’re getting is the person that actually injects you. The doctors and all in the office don’t know,” said Blair.
After some online research, Blair was accepted into the study two months ago and traveled to a clinic in Biloxi. After a second shot, Blair said he did suffer some side effects.
Blair said, ”When I got home that night, I developed what I would call a mild case of the flu. That night I had chills. I ran a low grade hundred degree temperature and just generally ached all over.”
He went to a clinic thinking he had coronavirus.
”They gave me a COVID test which was negative. They gave me a flu test which was negative and at that point in time I knew I had gotten the vaccine,” said Blair.
He said the symptoms lasted for about 20 days and now the Brandon attorney believes he’s immune.
”I do,” he stated. “It’s given me a peace of mind that I did not have. I wouldn’t say that I walked around in fear, but I don’t have any concern now that I’m gonna get it.”
He continued, ”Now, the trial goes on for two years. We’re not done yet. We go six times. Now it goes to a six month time and then we’ll go to a year and then two years. They want to see good evidence.”
Blair said he’s also doing this to help calm the concerns of his 8-year-old granddaughter.
”I had a bad heart attack two years ago, so I had a damaged heart. I have high blood pressure and I also have asthma. You combine all that together, COVID could do some damage,” Blair said.
”Pfizer now is on Phase 3 and there’s 50 thousand of us out there, with no serious side effects and all 50 thousand have had both injections now, so it’s just, the science is telling us it’s safe,” he said. “We don’t know how long our immunity is gonna last. I can tell you this, if they determine that we’re going to need it every year, I’ll be the first one in line to do it again.”