’I was excited to be a part of it’: Moderna vaccine trial participant optimistic about new results

BOSTON — For one local man, the grim news about COVID-19 and the number of deaths in his community pushed him to do something about it.

When Anthony Shiver woke up on Monday morning to the news about Moderna’s vaccine, he says he was beyond happy he made the decision to participate in the trial for the vaccine.

“The pandemic was going to affect so many people, blacks, Hispanics, Asians,” said Shivers.

Cambridge-based Moderna reported that an initial review of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective at preventing infection with the virus, slightly better than Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine contender, which showed initial effectiveness just over 90%.

Shivers, much like everyone else, has been reading about the coronavirus cases and deaths across the nation for months.

“It’s devastating what it’s doing to the country, around the world,” said Shivers.

At the age of 60, he thought he was at high risk for catching for the virus.

“I’m diabetic, hypertensive,” said Shivers.

Shivers didn’t even think twice and wanted to participate in the Moderna vaccine trial.

When asked if he was afraid to take an injection he didn’t even know about, Shivers said, “No, I did my research.”

He decided to participate in the study back in September - getting the two shots about a month apart at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“I had minor headaches, and those are some of the symptoms. You get those little aches and pains,” said Shivers.

Like all vaccine trial participants, they’re monitored through an app.

“Once you put your code in, it has a series of questions it asks you,” said Shivers.

Shivers says that, after educating himself about it day to day, he is making sure to spread the knowledge.

“I was excited about being a part of it, and bringing it to my community,” said Shivers.

Shivers says he is thankful he was picked for the research. He highly encourages others to get vaccinated, once it’s available.

Last week, Boston 25 News reporter Malini Basu spoke to a woman in Worcester who participated in the Pfizer vaccine trial, which has also been showing promising results. That woman is in her mid 30′s and says she feels fine and wants her community to get vaccinated when it becomes available - and not wait.

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