RICHMOND, Va. -- As the first shipments of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are transported to distribution centers across the country Sunday, a Richmond mother taking part in a clinical trial for another coronavirus vaccine hopes to assuage fears and help researchers learn about its efficacy.
"One of the things that everyone can agree on no matter what side of the question that you're talking about is the need for human trials," Emmie Croxford said.
Croxford shared her experience online in Richmond Mom Collective.
"At least for the AstraZeneca one, which is the trial I am participating in, you get it on day one and then day 29," Croxford explained. "The first time, I felt next to nothing [and] on day 29, I was not feeling fantastic. I think what's interesting, that I'm finding is, while there is a fear factor of course, everybody is more excited about talking about what's going on."
She hopes of easing anxieties and creating a dialogue.
"We're going to be able to study this for a long period of time to make sure everybody is safe long term," Croxford said. "So it's not like you're going to get the vaccine and that's it."
Dr. Scott Hickey, who has worked with COVID patients, said some of his colleagues will be receiving the first round of the Pfizer vaccine this week.
"Really the world has come together to produce this vaccine," Hickey said.
The first to receive the vaccine will be frontline workers and those in nursing homes. But for those not in either category, the Virginia Department of Health is working to create registration system for facilities to provide the vaccine.
The system will determine need and population served based on risk factor.
"We're going to have to be patient," Hickey said. "It's going to be into the spring time before there is enough vaccine to go around for all adults."
Trial experts are still looking for volunteers, especially participants who come from backgrounds that would be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.