'Least I can do:' Patient speaks on COVID-19 vaccine trial at UIC

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee is expected to meet to discuss emergency authorization for a vaccine developed by Pfizer on Thursday and for a vaccine developed by Moderna on Dec. 17. With authorization imminent, all eyes now turn to the states as they prepare to distribute doses. In the meantime, FOX6 News spoke with a man who is part of a Moderna vaccine trial through the University of Illinois-Chicago about his experience.

State Department of Health Services Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk told reporters during a briefing that Wisconsin is in line to receive an initial shipment of 49,725 Pfizer doses for health care workers and residents of long-term care homes. Those inoculations will likely begin this month, she said.

The state is also in line to receive another batch of 49,725 doses for those recipients' second round of inoculations. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots given several weeks apart.

Thomas Day

Thomas Day said after two shots and a mild fever, what he's doing brings us one step closer to getting life back to normal.

"I wanted to get vaccinated," said Day. "I want to be a part of the solution." 

Day was one of the participants in a Moderna vaccine trial at the University of Illinois-Chicago. The 50-50 trial means half of the participants got a placebo, while the other half got the vaccine.

"I’m hopeful I actually did receive the vaccine," said Day.

Day got two shots under the trial, one in October and the other 28 days later, experiencing mild symptoms.

"The day after my second dose, I had a 100-degree fever, which is a side effect of the vaccine," said Day.

Pfizer's vaccine must be stored at sub-zero temperatures, creating distribution problems. Once that vaccine is authorized, the state plans to stockpile doses at regional hubs with ultra-cold storage capability before handing them out to vaccinations.  Moderna's vaccine doesn't require sub-zero storage and the state plans to hand those doses out directly to vaccinators, DHS Secretary Van Dijk said.

Day said it was important for him to be a part of trial and help get life back to normal.

(Photo illustration by David Talukdar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

"Getting a shot or two shots is the least I can do to help us get back to normal and help honor the many sacrifices the scientific and research and health community have made for us," said Day.

Day says he will get vaccinated if he finds out he got the placebo. He said he understands people's hesitation to get vaccinated and that's why it's important for him to share his story and answer any questions people have about it.