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Tulsa woman describes experience in Novavax coronavirus vaccine trial

Posted at 10:00 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 08:01:34-05

TULSA, Okla. — As Johnson and Johnson gets closer to requesting emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine, other vaccine trials continue to take place around the world.

Tulsan Meg Charron is part of the Novavax vaccine trial at the Lynn Institute in Oklahoma City. She doesn't know if she is receiving the vaccine or the placebo, but said she only felt muscle aches for about two days after her first dose last week.

"Nothing that was super, you know, interrupting my life in any way," she said.

Now, Charron waits for her second dose in two weeks. She keeps track of how she's feeling every day.

"The most pain in the tail part of this is that you have to login every day on an app on your phone and talk about your symptoms and if you're feeling anything out of the ordinary," Charron said. "They ask you to take your temperature every single day."

According to the New York Times, the Novavax vaccine showed 90 percent efficacy in its trial in Britain. But in a smaller trial in South Africa, where a different variant has been found, that number dropped to just under 50 percent.

This vaccine is similar to others that are also showing less effectiveness against other strains. But, doctors say they can still fight the virus.

"This is not unlike what we see with the flu vaccine where it may not prevent infection, but it takes what may have been a severe case and turns it into a moderate case," said Dr. Douglas Drevets, chief of infectious diseases at OU Health.

Charron said she's doing this vaccine trial to keep her family safe and help the world get back to normal.

"If it helps make, push the vaccines further, faster and get these approved by the FDA and out into the market and get people vaccinated and back to normal, I'm happy to raise my hand and sign up to do it," she said.

Novavax said it will start testing a new vaccine soon that better protects against more contagious strains.

The results from the U.S. trial are expected to be available in April.

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