Knoxville couple shares experience participating in Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Following the announcement of the FDA approval of the Moderna vaccine, one Knoxville couple who is currently participating in the vaccine trials shares their experience and what this means to them.

“It feels like a sigh of relief that something good is happening,” Shirley Sirois said. She and her husband Ken signed up to participate in a Moderna vaccine trial in June of this year.

Knoxville couple participates in COVID-19 vaccine trial

The trial will last for two years. So far, each of them have received vaccines. The trial is blind, meaning they don’t know if they got the actual vaccine, or a placebo. Both will have been and will be closely monitored through a series of doctors visits and tests.

So far, they say it’s been a positive experience.

“We’ve been fine. No symptoms and no health issues at all. I feel good about it,” Ken said.

Now that the vaccine has been approved for distribution across the country, Ken and Shirley reflect on their choice to be the first to test the vaccine.

“I’m glad we did it, I’m glad the serum is coming out much faster than they ever thought it would,” Shirley said.

Since the approval and distribution of the Pfizer vaccine, medical professionals across the country –and here in East Tennessee are also taking those first steps. The Sirois’ hope those images — and their participation in the Moderna trial — will encourage those who are skeptical to give the vaccine a chance.

“I think there’s a lot of people out there that just won’t get it. They want to see how people will fair that do have it,” Shirley said.

When Ken and Shirley started the trial this summer, there were no vaccines, just hope.

“I’m hoping that by summer time things will be kind of — I don’t know if they’ll ever be back to normal — but I’m hoping things will go back to a semblance of normalcy,” Shirley said.

With a second vaccine now on the way, it seems those hopes might become reality.

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