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Participants in Moderna, Pfizer vaccine trials discuss their experiences

Two coronavirus vaccines are in the final stages of trials, and the government says it will just be a few more weeks before frontline workers and the most vulnerable get the shot.

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Two coronavirus vaccines are in the final stages of trials, and the government says it will just be a few more weeks before frontline workers and the most vulnerable get the shot.

Sister station KOCO spoke with two people who took part in the Pfizer and Moderna trials. They didn’t know if they received the real deal or a placebo.

Curtis McMurtrey, who took part in the Moderna trial, is a vaccine expert himself. He explained how the vaccines work.

“I’m a virologist and immunologist, so I know the science behind it,” McMurtrey said.

McMurtrey, who develops vaccines mostly for cancer, said he knows a few of the scientists on the Moderna trial board.

“I know them from doing research with them,” McMurtrey said.

Moderna recently announced that its vaccine is nearly 95% effective.

“I was very convinced it was safe and it worked,” McMurtrey said.

McMurtrey told KOCO that he received two rounds of shots at the Lynn Institute in Norman, Oklahoma. He has a hunch that he got the real vaccine.

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“It felt like someone punched me in the arm. It was sore,” McMurtrey said.

And his lymph nodes started to swell.

“Like, I could feel them getting bigger,” McMurtrey said.

Along with a mild headache, that was it for the side effects. But that is why McMurtrey believes he got the actual vaccine.

Michael Neel, who works in the Oklahoma City metro, took part in the Pfizer trial with his family.

“The whole COVID pandemic has really bumfuzzled me, really confused me,” Neel said. “Something I really wanted to do, to not only to help my family but also science.”

Pfizer’s vaccine is now said to be 95% effective. Neel also believes he received the real one.

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“I got lucky, I guess,” Neel said. “Had side effects – that would include headache, fatigue.”

Neel said that the biggest tell was “I also took an antibody test and it indicated I have antibodies for the COVID vaccine.”

“This is one of the safest vaccines we’ve ever made,” McMurtrey said. “Over 90% effective, so it’s safe and effective.”

People have expressed their concerns that the vaccines were developed too fast. McMurtrey said the technology has been in place for quite some time and that this was just a different virus to fit.