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‘I felt it was the right thing to do’ - Princeton man participates in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trials

A Princeton man is one of the people participating in Pfizer’s vaccine trials.

News 12 Staff

Nov 13, 2020, 3:50 AM

Updated 1,314 days ago

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The pharmaceutical company Pfizer is working hard on a COVID-19 vaccine and says that they are close to having one ready for the public. A Princeton man is one of the people participating in the company’s vaccine trials.
Giora Griffel says that he is proof that the vaccine works. He is five months into the trial and says that he now has antibodies for the virus.
He says that he and his wife both jumped at the chance to join the effort. Griffel’s wife works as a researcher at Mount Sinai in New York where they were offered the chance to volunteer.
“I felt it was the right thing to do. And I trusted science that it would be OK,” Griffel says.
The Pfizer vaccine requires two shots. The couple took their first one in June and say that on the same day they felt a reaction.
“I felt like the onset of flu. Muscle pain, headache, tiredness. No fever and it went away after one day,” Griffel says, adding that his wife felt the same effects.
One month later they took the booster shot and again had the flu-like symptoms – plus a fever of 101 degrees.
“The difference was it took two days and in the afternoon, I got up and was totally healthy,” he says. “It was as if the body fought it, got over it. I was ready to go.”
Griffel and his wife took blood tests soon after and both tested positive for antibodies. He says that he feels safer walking around in public now.
“I still wear the mask. I want people to feel comfortable,” he says.
Griffel and his wife were two of 30,000 people across the country to be involved in the trial. He joined in phase three, which is designed to determine side effects and effectiveness. Pfizer reports that the vaccine is 90% effective. Researchers are now watching Griffel to see how long the vaccine will last in his body.
Griffel is 65 years old and is an electrical engineer. He says that he feels a sense of pride for helping with the research. He says that when he is alone with people he lets them know about the vaccine.
“I take the opportunity to notify them that they are kind of safer. That I have the antibody,” Griffel says.
While the testing continues, it is possible that the vaccine could be ready by spring. As many as seven companies are working on a COVID-19 vaccine.


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