Pfizer vaccine volunteer describes ‘joy’ at news of UK approval

A volunteer on the Pfizer vaccine programme has said he “feels a sense of pride” after the UK became the first country in the world to approve its use.

Bryan, 42, an engineer from Rome, Georgia in the US, said he felt “joy” after waking up to the news that the vaccine had been authorised for use across the Atlantic.

The volunteer told the PA news agency that he believes he had a placebo as he tested negative for antibodies of the virus, and later caught the virus himself.

Falling ill with the disease made him all the more convinced that people should take the vaccine.

“I would, especially when you consider the alternative. The alternative is not pretty.

He added: “I was a healthy guy, (around) 40 years old … I was sick like I’ve never been sick before. I don’t think anyone would want to go through that.

“You have some people who are perfectly healthy, contract it and end up in ICU with serious complications.”

More than 43,500 people in six countries have taken part in the phase three trial run by the pharmaceutical giant and its partner BioNTech.

The trial process is double-blind which means the participants are not told if they are receiving the vaccine or a placebo.

Participants took two injections – of either the real or false dose – followed by regular visits to test for antibodies.

Bryan said he understood that the speed at which the vaccine was produced may lead some to question it, but insisted: “I think the public needs to be aware of how safe the vaccine is.”

“You’re always going to be fighting disinformation online and on social media from anti-vaccine (groups) and people who frankly just don’t know what they’re talking about.

“We have a lot of work to do in that area I think. It’s important people know the facts, that it’s safe and that this vaccine is going to save lives.”