Tulsa girl describes expertise in Novavax coronavirus vaccine research

TULSA, okla. – As Johnson and Johnson get closer to applying for an emergency permit for their coronavirus vaccine, more vaccine trials are taking place worldwide.

Meg Charron from Tulsa is part of the Novavax vaccine study at the Lynn Institute in Oklahoma City. She doesn’t know if she’s getting the vaccine or the placebo, but said she had muscle pain for about two days after her first dose last week.

“Nothing that was great, you know, interrupts my life in any way,” she said.

Now Charron is waiting for her second dose in two weeks. She tracks how she feels every day.

“The biggest problem with this is that you have to log in to an app on your phone every day and talk about your symptoms and when you feel something out of the ordinary,” said Charron. “They ask you to take your temperature every day.”

According to the New York Times, the Novavax vaccine showed 90 percent effectiveness in its study in the UK. In a smaller trial in South Africa, in which a different variant was found, this number fell to just under 50 percent.

This vaccine is similar to others that are also less effective against other strains. However, doctors say they can still fight the virus.

“This is no different from the flu vaccine which may not prevent infection. However, it is a potentially serious case that turns into a moderate case,” said Dr. Douglas Drevets, chief infectious diseases at OU Health.

Charron said she was doing this vaccine study to protect her family and help the world get back to normal.

“If it helps keep the vaccines moving, faster, and FDA cleared and marketed, and vaccinating people and getting them back to normal, I’ll be glad to raise my hand and sign up for them,” she said.

Novavax said it will soon start testing a new vaccine that will better protect against contagious strains.

The results of the US study are expected to be available in April.

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