MountainView Hospital - October 09, 2020

Like everyone else, Deborah V., RN, just wants the pandemic to be over. She wants to go back to her life and the way things were before.

“I was actually getting depressed thinking about it,” Deborah said. “Then one day I decided to try and do something about it.”

Deborah, a nurse for 22 years, looked into – and then signed up for – a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. While she knows there is still a long way to go for a vaccine that will be approved and distributed widely, Deborah feels a bit better knowing she is doing her part to help get there sooner.

Deborah, Regulatory/Quality Manager at MountainView Hospital, enrolled in a Phase 3 trial this summer and received the first dose in August. She received the second dose four weeks later, in September. Deborah is convinced that she received the actual vaccine, as she felt sick for about 24 hours following the second dose. Her adult son, who also enrolled in the trial had a similar reaction. Her boyfriend, who also volunteered for the study, did not have the reaction.

“We are convinced he received a placebo,” Deborah said.

The study lasts two years, and tracks participants to see if they get sick or not from COVID-19. Participants are routinely tested for COVID-19.

Normally it takes years for clinical trials to progress, largely because of the need to recruit volunteers. Volunteers have largely been in abundance for COVID vaccine trials, which does help speed up the process.

Deborah said she has never volunteered for a clinical trial before, she just felt that this was something she had to do. Deborah is no stranger to wanting to help – she pursued a nursing degree following the cancer diagnosis for her father. Sadly, he did not get a chance to see her graduate; however Deborah was able to help care for him in his final months.

Deborah said that when a vaccine is finalized and approved, even if it is different than the trial she is currently on, she will get the vaccine. She said getting vaccinated and protected outweighs the discomfort of having felt ill for a day.

“I have always been a big proponent for vaccines, whether it is the flu vaccine or childhood vaccines for your kids,” Deborah said. “I understand there may be mistrust out there around vaccines, and especially one that is new to market – but they are an essential tool to helping prevent disease outbreak.”

Deborah says once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved, she would encourage everyone to consider getting the vaccine.

“If we get a vaccine, it will be a game changer,” she said.