FOX 35 EXCLUSIVE: Pfizer to prioritize trial participants for COVID vaccine

Central Floridians who participated in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trials and received the non-active placebo solution will be moved up the list to get the real deal.

“We should make sure that we take care of those people that were courageous and came in, upfront, early July, August and got on the trial,” said Dr. Bruce Rankin, Medical Director at Accel Clinical Research in DeLand.

Pfizer on Wednesday announced it will be offering vaccines to the volunteers.

“Pfizer told us from the beginning that none of their participants would be at a disadvantage by being on the trial, they felt it was an ethical and moral obligation because those people came out and raised up their sleeves,” said Dr. Rankin.

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Dr. Bruce Rankin is running one of the local trials for Pfizer.

“It is an opportunity to be thanked and make sure that they’re protected, the best way we can,” said Dr. Rankin.

One of those volunteers is Nan James.

“If I had to guess, I would think I got the placebo, simply because I had zero side effects,” said Nan James, Pfizer vaccine trial volunteer.

The school teacher is grateful for Pfizer prioritizing trial participants.

“I think it’s very generous and I really do appreciate it,” said James.

First to be offered the shot: healthcare workers and those who live in long-term care facilities.

Those participants will get to come back here to the same clinic where they got the placebo vaccines, however this time, it will be the real thing.

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In the coming months, the remaining volunteers will be offered the shot.

“An opportunity to get early vaccinated, maybe before they were going to be able to get it through the general public distribution,” said Dr. Rankin.

The doctor with a message for the trial participants.

“A big thank you, we’re so appreciative, the whole world is appreciative that you stepped up,” said Dr. Rankin.

“I’m glad and honored to be part of this study,” said James.

The clinic is already reaching out to trial volunteers to schedule vaccines.


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