LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA) — Pending FDA approval, COVID-19 vaccines may be available as soon as next week, but in the meantime, many people have been part of the vaccine testing process.
NewsNation affiliate KNWA spoke to a woman who participated in the vaccine trials.
California resident, Teresa Nyles, was scrolling on Facebook when she saw a COVID-19 research study ad done through the Medical Center for Clinical Research.
“They thought I was crazy but I trust the scientists,” Nyles said.
She signed up and was chosen to participate. Nyles got two shots, one on Aug. 24 and then again on Sept. 14.
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Since it was a blind study, she said she’s not 100% sure if she got a placebo or the vaccine.
“I think I did because I had some side effects,” she said. “My arm hurt for three days, both times.”
Nyles said the MCCR has been doing extensive follow ups ever since she started the trial.
“They’d ask us about our injection site, aches, pains, fevers, and if we took any medications for that,” she said. “I think they follow us for 18 months.”
Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said a vaccine should be in the state between 24 and 48 hours after the FDA gives approval for both the Pfizer and now Moderna vaccine.
“That means we think we will have a vaccine in the state sometime at the end of next week or the very beginning of the week after that,” Dr. Romero said. “We should have rollouts of [Moderna] at the end of [December].
The vaccine rollouts are limited and will be distributed to certain groups in phases — starting with frontline healthcare providers and ending with the general population.
“Just be patient,” Dr. Romero said. “We will have [a] vaccine for everyone that wants to take it.”
Each vaccine requires two doses.
“Your arm is a little sore, you may feel a little under the weather for a day or so, but then you’re going to be back at it,” she said. “I don’t see any reason that will give people a pause to get that second dose.”
Dr. Romero said the state was required to lock in its vaccine distribution plan by Friday, Dec. 4.