Jennifer Haller, 43, was one of the first four healthy people to have an injection of a test coronavirus vaccine at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle. She admitted to having felt powerless in the face of this pandemic, but now claims, “This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something.” She feels happy to be able to contribute to finding a solution.
2020 has not panned out how anyone expected and has left many caring people like Jennifer wondering what they could do to help as the world became crippled and shaken by the COVID-19 virus.
One of the key factors in finding medical solutions to the virus is the multitude of clinical trials that are testing different treatments and vaccines, all of which depend on the willingness of people like Jennifer to participate in them.
The Kaiser Permanente team, under the leadership of Dr Lisa Jackson, is working on a vaccine and was able to administer the first trial shots on 16 March 2020.
In order to participate in the trial, healthy individuals without chronic health issues were screened for eligibility via a pre-vaccination blood test where antibodies were monitored.
The trial is focused on revving up the immune system and blood samples were taken periodically to measure the impact of the test vaccine.
Volunteers were paid $100 for each clinic visit during the trial period, which required two injections a month apart.
A total of 45 volunteers participated in this clinical trial, which got underway within two months of the virus appearing in the US – an amazingly fast response. However, researchers expect it will take 12-18 months before a vaccine is available for public distribution, even if the trial has a successful outcome.