DETROIT – Pfizer announced it is now recruiting 30,000 people in the U.S. and elsewhere to study the effectiveness of its coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
Graduate student David Rach participated in the earlier trail of a vaccine. He was vaccinated in early May at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
“It’s exciting from the side of a participant, it’s exciting from the side of a graduate student studying immunology and it is also exciting in hopefully the promise of a vaccine by next year and life returning to a semblance of normal,” Rach said.
That earlier trail found the vaccine stimulated antibodies in those vaccinated at rates equal or higher than in those who’ve had the virus.
“There is also a component of relief seeing that it’s actually producing results, that the vaccine is producing antibodies,” Rach said.
The initial U.S. production of the vaccine is taking place at Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Kalamazoo County. IN addition to continuing to study safety, the Phase 3 trials will determine if the vaccine actually protects people against becoming infected by COVID-19.
Rach said he still doesn’t know for sure if he got the actual vaccine or the placebo saline solution. But since he had a slight reaction to his second dose, he’s convinced he is one of the few people in the world vaccinated against COVID-19.
Pfizer will continue to test its vaccine in the U.S. and other countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Germany. Testing it in communities with higher rates of spread is key to determining if it’s effective.