Viewpoint: Here’s why I dropped out of a COVID vaccine trial midway through

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Credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images

I’ve been wrestling with a dilemma the past few weeks: Do I stay in the COVID-19 vaccine trial I’ve been enrolled in for 4 months—and which I very much hope will be successful—or do I drop out, take an already proven vaccine, and protect myself sooner?

If it turned out that I received CVnCoV [instead of placebo], I could be altruistic and stay in the trial until its completion, knocking on wood that the vaccine worked as well as the other mRNA vaccines; or I could err on the side of safety, drop out, and get whatever the government had planned for me. If it turned out I had the placebo, I had the same two options but staying in would be dicier still, because I would be completely unprotected. 

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I told the researcher that my turn had come up, and we briefly ran through the possible scenarios. Then I asked her to unblind me. She swiveled her computer screen in my direction so I could see the steps it required. And there, suddenly, it was: “placebo.”

I didn’t have to think much longer. I’m looking forward to being safe from COVID-19.

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