College student from New England says he is part of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial | #College. | #Students | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

A college student and New England native says he is one of the participants in Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial.

a man smiling for the camera: Jack Morningstar

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Jack Morningstar

Jack Morningstar, 21, says it has been two months since volunteered to take part in the final phase of a study to test whether or not the Cambridge-based company’s coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective.

Sign up for our Newsletters”I did have some friends that, as I was sort of explaining my rationale to them, they were sort of looking at me like I was from another planet,” Morningstar said.

Morningstar, who is from Caribou, Maine, is currently a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He says he got one shot at the end of September and then a booster a month later.

“The second booster shot, I had a little bit of a higher fever and some pain at the injection site,” he said. “But I was able to shake that with a couple ibuprofens, and it wasn’t anything too intense.”

Because of that reaction to the booster, Morningstar says he is convinced that he is part of the test group that received Moderna’s vaccine and not a placebo.

He says COVID-19 was raging through the UNC campus community when the opportunity to volunteer for the trial came about, so he believed he would likely be exposed to the coronavirus sooner or later.

“I didn’t really see any downside. It also paid for my groceries for the week,” Morningstar said.

Morningstar says he received $50 for each shot and a few extra dollars for each time he fills out a diary or speaks on the phone with a trial representative. Although he appreciates the payment, Morningstar says his main motive for participating in the trial will be knowing that he might play a part in stopping the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I mean, it will be interesting looking back — when I’m an old dude — saying, ‘I participated in the solution,’” he said. “I think that it’s just a little salt and pepper in my life.”

Morningstar says if Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is approved, trial organizers will then contact him again. If it turns out he received the placebo, he says he will be among the first in line to receive the vaccine.


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