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Wisconsin woman participating in AstraZeneca's vaccine trial shares her experience

Posted at 10:58 AM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 13:59:54-05

MADISON — A Wisconsin woman participating in the AstraZeneca vaccine trial says she fully trusts the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine that the drugmaker says is now proving to be effective in its late stages of an ongoing trial.

AstraZeneca reports that its two-shot vaccine candidate is proving to be 70 percent effective on average, and up to 90 percent effective in specific cases. The company also says there are no safety concerns to report.

"We have Moderna and we have Pfizer and now AstraZeneca," said Dr. Jeff Potof with UW-Health when he joined TMJ4 News Today to react to AstraZeneca's announcement on Monday. "These are just really tremendous numbers coming out of these vaccine makers. Safe and effective vaccines."

Dr. Jeff Pothof discusses vaccines, coronavirus concerns

Maggie Bishop, a healthcare worker who lives near Madison, said she has been part of AstraZeneca's study since September.

Some doctors worry that there could be hesitation when vaccines, that are being developed, become available. Bishop says she trusts science enough to set those worries aside.

"I don’t think there's any reason to be hesitant. I know that I have friends that have said that they are skeptical to jump on board and get it right away but, at this point, we all have to be part of the solution and if that means getting a vaccination that has proven to be safe and effective, then its time to get it," said Bishop.

Bishop joined the trial via UW-Health and has received multiple shots. She is not sure if she received a dose of the vaccine or a placebo, but either way, the side effects have been minimal.

"The only side effects were really a sore arm, general body aches maybe for about a day, a headache the next day," said Bishop. "Nothing too alarming."

Now that the vaccine candidate is showing signs of effectiveness, Bishop hopes healthcare workers and senior citizens can soon be the first in society to receive doses of the vaccines once they are distributed, which could be a major step in returning to normal life.

"Definitely encouraging as we are heading into the holidays as we are spending time alone, but looks like maybe next year we’ll be able to be together again," said Bishop.

AstraZeneca says it is preparing to seek Emergency Use Authorization -- a status that both Pfizer and Moderna are seeking currently as well.

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