Brave people roll up their sleeves and clench their teeth. They’re ready to fight—fight the coronavirus, that is. They’re the first humans to try out an experimental vaccine that could take on the new and dangerous virus that’s sweeping the world. Healthy volunteers in Seattle, Washington, are getting shots to see if the potential COVID-19 vaccine works.
Study participant Jennifer Haller waited to get an injection. “Everybody is feeling so helpless right now, and I’ve realized that there was something that I could do to help.”
Dr. Lisa Jackson is the Kaiser Permanente company’s lead investigator on the study. “We are conducting the first test of the first vaccine against the new coronavirus that has made it this far to be eligible for testing in humans. So we’re getting the first information possible about something that could potentially help in the future.”
She reassures, “There’s no chance of getting coronavirus from the vaccine. The vaccine is not made from the virus. It does not have any part of the virus. It includes a genetic code that instructs the cells in the body to make a protein that the virus has in order to induce an immune response against that protein.”
“About 45 people will get the vaccine. And we’ll closely follow them throughout their 13 months of being in the study and look for reactions to the vaccine, as well as any other health events that they might have during that period.”
“Going from not even knowing that this virus was out there, which we then identified it as being the cause of infection in China in January, to having a vaccine that we can actually initiate a clinical trial in about two months is unprecedented.”
Jennifer Haller says before leaving the clinic, “I hope that we get to a working vaccine quickly and that we can save lives.”
The Seattle experiment is one of several worldwide efforts testing potential COVID-19 vaccines. Even if the research goes well, experts say a vaccine would not be available for widespread use for 12 to 18 months.
We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. — Psalm 33:20
(Jennifer Haller poses at home after becoming the first person to receive a test shot of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)