Doctor turns patient in Wisconsin COVID-19 vaccine trial


MADISON, Wisc. (NewsNation Now) – On Wednesday, UW Health and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health vaccinated the first participant in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 clinical trial.

Dr Jeff Pothof normally serves as UW Health’s Chief Quality Officer. But in this case, he’s just a volunteer.

Pothof said he’s seen people suffer because of COVID-19 which inspired him to sign up for the trial.

“It’s just been so disruptive so if I can do something to make a difference so that we can get back to normal,” Pothof said. “I felt like it was important for me to step up and so that.”

UW Health and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health released an statement on the investigation vaccine.

They said the goal is to test the drug to see if it can prevent COVID-19. Investigators hope to treat about 1,600 people over the next eight weeks. About 30,000 participants will take part in this study nationwide.

“This vaccine has been incredibly promising,” Pothof. “And as a physician I was comfortable joining this phase 3 trial. I hope it tells other people, if they want to make a difference and they want to help us get on top of the coronavirus. They can be a part of the trial.”

The possible side effects of the shot include headache, fever, fatigue, body aches or pain near the injection site. Also patients must use an app to update doctors on how they’re feeling.

“All these symptoms are pretty mild and seem to be pretty adequately controlled with Tylenol,” said Pothof. “Which seems to be a pretty small price to pay if it does actually show that it give you immunity against COVID-19.”   

Following the treatment, the study will last about two years. Doctors will test enrollees from time to time to see if anything changes in their body or if they catch COVID-19.

Pothof says no matter the outcome of the trial , it will put researchers one step closer to getting life back to normal.

People interested in learning more about participating in the study can do so by emailing, calling the hotline at 608-262-8300 or 833-306-0681, or by visiting their website.

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