Birmingham couple participates in Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Daniel Seigel and Jessie Mayne said they signed up in August to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial and by September, they were going through the paperwork and received the first dose.

Seigel and Mayne said they was a pre-screening and they had to call a 1-800 number. After that, they filled out a lot of paperwork to learn more about the study and make sure they were a good fit for it.

“There are two reasons to get involved. One, it’s something that helps everyone else, and we wanted to be a part of an originally 30,000 person trial. I think it expanded to 44,000 including teenagers and elderly population and secondly, if we happen to be the people who got the vaccine this study, then maybe we’ll already be protected and protect our families which was really important,” Seigel said.

Seigel took his first dose a week before his wife. The second dose was given three weeks later. Both Seigel and Mayne said they had no reaction to the first dose, but they did with the second one.

“In the first dose, neither of us had any reaction besides the typical sore arm you get from shots. The second dose however that was a bit of a doozy,” Mayne said.

“What I want people to know is it’s not a big deal and we had a lot of really good response to people saying thank you for doing this which I wasn’t expecting,” said Seigel.

They said that overall, their symptoms weren’t too bad in the second dose and didn’t last long.

“Exactly 10-12 hours after the dose from both of us, chills set in and a fever but not anything serious. 99 to 100 degrees. It felt worse than we actually were and for that I saw it was around 12-14 hours and then it started to evade. I started feeling a lot better and then 24 hours, I felt back to normal and a week later she got the same course of symptoms which convinced us it was probably the vaccine,” Seigel said.

“It was probably the worst day of the flu but it wasn’t the full week and a half that was the flu,” said Mayne.

The Pfizer vaccine is reported to be at least 90% effective and could be administered as early as next month.

Seigel and Mayne said they felt like they were a part of history and are happy to see the vaccine appears to be a success.

“We’re thrilled, not just for ourselves but for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in this pandemic,” Mayne said.

“Part of what we do is sacrifice ourselves. A part of what we do is try to think of the other greater good and it may seem like a small thing but being a research trial participant for something like this, is what we’re supposed to do,” Seigel said.

The study is 26 months long with a minimum of six visits. Mayne and Seigel said their next follow up is in April. They said they will get a call to find out if they received the vaccine or a placebo when the trial is over.


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