Local woman volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trial

Local woman volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trial
Posted at 4:03 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 18:36:12-05

BOISE, Idaho — Rising cases, looming winter weather and the holiday season have health leaders stressing the importance of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Simple things like washing your hands, wearing a face mask and social distancing can make a huge difference. But recent news of a new COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon is welcome news.

The drug trials that get those vaccines approved rely on volunteers who sign up to be guinea pigs. We spoke to a local volunteer about what it is like to put your health on the line for the greater good.

Eventually, a vaccine, or several vaccines, will arrive thanks to people like Keily, who asked us to use just her first name.

"I saw an ad come up that they needed volunteers and for me it was a total instinct thing," said Keily. "My gut said to do it."

Keily says she saw the ad for AstraZeneca show up on Facebook last summer. After reading 35 pages of trial information and undergoing health exams, she says the process was completely up front.

"I have a trust in science you know, so it didn't scare me the way it scares some people."

She says the first meeting took three and a half hours. She had a full exam and two COVID-19 tests before taking part. Keily says she and another participant never knew if they got the actual vaccine.

Someday, Keily could find out if she got the vaccine if she wants. She says 80 percent of her friends call her brave, the other 20 say she's crazy, but she just couldn't do nothing.

"I wanted to help and as things are getting worse, going into such a tricky season being indoors, I'm just like okay if I can be part of a solution, let's do this."

The United States has agreed to buy 300 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine for $1.2 billion. Its effectiveness has not yet been determined.