Collin County

North Texas Fire Chief Recounts Being Part of COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd was a part of the vaccine trial with Moderna which recently announced the vaccine is more than 94% effective

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As COVID-19 cases continue climbing, there is encouraging news about two possible vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd was a part of the vaccine trial with Moderna.

“I want to do everything that I can to try to help get us out of this pandemic and reduce infections,” Boyd said. “I also wanted to be able, when we do have a vaccine, to personally speak to the safety of that vaccine. I wanted to make sure that I tried it and was confident in telling people it is a safe and effective vaccine.”

“I was trying to find a way to help our community get out of this pandemic,” Boyd explained. “I researched a lot of the vaccines that were in development and one that I knew was doing a U.S. trial was Moderna. I just researched where they were doing that trial, found a place that was enrolling volunteers in Dallas and I signed up.”

He received his first injection of either the vaccine or a placebo in August.

“I was to document all my symptoms for seven days after vaccine administration through a phone app,” Boyd said.

After the first dose, he experienced some arm soreness and fatigue. After a period of 28 days, he received the second dose via injection.

“On the second dose, I did have a low-grade fever for about 8 hours after the second dose, but right after that, I felt great. So, a sore arm [and] a mild fever was the worst I experienced with this vaccine,” Boyd said.

He hopes to find out soon if he definitively received the vaccine.

“What they’ve told us is as soon as the vaccine receives emergency-use authorization, then they will let those who received the placebo know that they can go ahead and come and get the vaccine at that point,” Boyd said.

Boyd said he is excited to be a part of the trials and to see the recent announcements about advances in finding effective vaccines.

“My part is very small compared to all the work that is being done by Moderna and all the front-line scientists,” Boyd said.

He reminds us that we are likely months away from widespread distribution of a vaccine and wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding large crowds is still very important.

How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

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