MYSTERY WIRE — The first person to be injected with a vaccine being tested against coronavirus spoke out on Monday.
“The chance that I could have something to do with saving lives is huge,” says Jennifer Haller, a 43-year-old woman from Seattle.
“We feel — all of us — I know we feel so helpless. Like, what can we do?” Haller says in an interview on MSNBC. “And I am so excited there was actually something that I could do. And I did it, and I’m doing it, and I’m so proud of myself and so thankful for the privelege that I have that allows me to do this.”
The vaccine, mRNA-1273, was developed by biotechnology company Moderna in combination with researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to a report on Forbes. The trial is being conducted at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Haller is healthy and says she has tremendous support from the company where she works, and her family and friends.
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“My real concern is for the people that have hourly jobs, that lives are going to be severely impacted coming up soon,” she says.
The vaccine uses “messenger RNA” rather than parts of the virus itself, so she has not been exposed.
Ann Rimion, an epidemiologist at UCLA, adds that we can’t put all of our hopes into a vaccine — it could take a year to bring it to the public. She urged the public to be vigilant in doing the things to stay healthy and avoid exposure to COVID-19.
Haller says the support has surprised her. “I’ve had messages from strangers on Facebook thanking me. I’m just so thankful that I get to be a part of this.”