Channel 9 talks to local man participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There are dozens of potential COVID-19 vaccines, in the trial phase right now and some of the work to test them is happening in Charlotte.

The scientific process of making sure a vaccine is safe is critical and at the heart of all of these trials, is getting vaccines into our community and putting the pandemic behind us.

Officials said the Pfizer vaccine is showing 90% effectiveness.

The doctors who know the science behind it said that number is beyond expectation.

“A huge amount of hope. And it’s I think really a win for science, for the science of what we’re doing and how we’re trying to go forward in this," Dr. Christine Turley with Atrium Health said.

Turley is leading Atrium’s effort to begin more local vaccine trials. Health officials have already registered thousands of people in our community to participate.

According to Turley, their research will also help them prioritize who gets vaccinated first through an emergency use some time in 2021, regardless of who makes the vaccine.

“We’re having to really think carefully about how do we do this. And, how do we target and prioritize high risk populations," she said.

So what is it like to take the vaccine? Channel 9 found someone involved in the Pfizer trial.

″I had one bad day the day after the 2nd shot and other than that, it’s like the flu vaccine" Rabbi Daniel Bogard said.

Bogard doesn’t know if he had the placebo or the vaccine, but said he took part in the trial to see his family again.

“Even if I got the placebo and even if it take a year before I get the real one, that there’s going to be a day where I can just hug my parents again and that can just be a part of life that I think none of us are going to take for granted in the same way again,” he said.