“You’re going to turn into a zombie.”
That’s what my wife, Nikki, told me after I enrolled in clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. She was kidding of course, but I understood her concern about me taking a novel therapy developed under a White House-led program called “Operation Warp Speed.” The title doesn’t exactly relay caution.
We’re both healthy and young so even if we contracted COVID-19 the statistics show it’s unlikely the disease would be a major threat to us. But as the head of a media watchdog organization, I’m constantly on the road. In fact, I’ve traveled to 20 states since the “end of the world” in March. Each week, I meet with supporters, investigators, and activists and I’d feel horrible if I asymptomatically transferred the disease to any one of them.
So when I heard that COVID-19 vaccine trials had begun in Florida at the nearby Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research, I decided to take the risk. My family has a bit of a background in medicine — in fact, my grandfather was a senior vice president and medical director for Aetna — and they assured me that enrolling in the trial was low risk since the vaccine had entered Phase 3 trials.