First-ever coronavirus trial participant: 'Proud to have been part of the process'

Jennifer Haller, 44, spoke about her participation in the trial of the first-ever COVID-19 vaccine. 'As easy as the regular flu shot.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Vaccine (illustrative)
Vaccine (illustrative)

The first-ever coronavirus vaccine trial has begun, and Jennifer Haller, 44, was the first person in Washington State to receive a coronavirus vaccine, The Telegraph reported.

Haller, a resident of Seattle, Washington, and the mother of two, said the injection was similar to a flu shot.

According to US researchers, Haller saw a call-out for participants in the trial and decided to join, ultimately becoming the first person in any country to receive a potential COVID-19 vaccine - something she only found out when she arrived at the lab on March 16 and saw the Associated Press already there, she told The Telegraph.

The trial is run by Seattle's Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, and involves two doses of the vaccine - named mRNA-1273 - which are administered 28 days apart. The vaccine does not actually include COVID-19 itself, and it has been tested on animals, but not on people.

Speaking from her home isolation in Washington state, Haller told The Telegraph: "Even at that time we were all feeling so helpless. There was nothing I could do to stop this global pandemic. Then I saw this opportunity come up and thought: 'Well, maybe there is something I can do to contribute.'"

She added: "It gave me some sense of control. We're all so out of control and helpless. This just gave me something that I could hold on to that could be helpful."

Haller admitted that "there were a tonne of risks involved," but emphasized to The Telegraph that she is "a real positive person and the benefits of this far outweighed any risks in my mind."

Prior to her participation in the trial, she underwent several medical checks to ensure she was a good fit.

After the injection, she kept a log of her symptoms. Haller said that she had a slightly elevated temperature on the first day, and her arm was "pretty sore" on the second day, "but that was was as easy as a regular flu shot."

Haller also said that the responses on social media have been not just positive but "overwhelming and humbling." She also said that her children are taking it well and think it's "pretty cool."

Haller is due for her second injection next week, The Telegraph noted, and monitoring of her and the other 44 trial participants will continue until spring of 2021.

"Whenever we get to the vaccine, whatever it ends up being, I will be proud to have been part of the process," Haller told the site.

"This is one thing I can do, and I'm happy to do it. I'm not saving the world."