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Coronavirus vaccine trial volunteer shares story

Posted at 10:44 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 01:44:47-04

The world is holding its collective breath hoping a vaccine can come quickly as the coronavirus has plunged so many communities into economic and personal devastation.

“It’s clear sailing… very, very easy,” said Bruce Ash.

In other words so far, so good. Less than 24 hours ago, Bruce Ash was just like you and me.

“There was no sensation, it was just a regular shot,” said Ash.

Well, not quite. The shot the life long Tucsonian received is meant to fight the coronavirus. Ash says it’s a little tender at the injection site but he feels good.

“There’s a very small amount of hardness or a little bit of pain if you will, it’s very minor at the injection site,” said Ash.

He’s one of hundreds of Arizonans expected to be part of the Moderna Vaccine phase three trial.

One of a handful of drug companies racing toward the same goal- to create a safe and effective vaccine and manufacture millions of doses.

“If I was a betting man, I would say I got the placebo because there was really nothing, no adverse reactions at all,” said Ash.

Only half of the trial’s 30,000 nationwide Moderna participants will actually receive the vaccine. The other received a saline shot. None of the volunteers are told which.

While Ash doesn’t have much to write home about yet, he’ll track it anyway.

He’s required to record his daily temperature and any possible symptoms all on a mobile app.

“If I did start having any kind of symptoms, I have the information on how to get ahold of the Moderna people, I have all the information on what to look for, a contact here locally with the testing lab,” said Ash.

Ash is doing the trial through Quality of Life Medical and Research Center in Tucson. He’ll return to the clinic 27 days from now to receive a second dose. Ash is one of 200,000 brave Americans to volunteer for the trial and thrilled to be playing a small but essential role in the fight for our future.

“This is a walk in the park, it really is and I would encourage anybody if you have interest and the motivation to do this, to try it,” said Ash.