Former Suffolk woman part of US Covid vaccine trial

Anette Nielsen and her husband

Anette Nielsen and her husband Keith - Credit: Anette Nielsen

A former Archant Suffolk reporter has been taking part in a coronavirus vaccine programme in the US where she now lives. 

Anette Nielsen, 42, now lives in Las Vegas with her family.

Since August she and her husband Keith have been involved in the trials for the Moderna vaccine.

"We thought we can't sit around and not do anything,"  said Mrs Nielsen. 

"We had to take this opportunity to at least try."

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The trial involved the couple being given two injections 28 days apart.

They were then asked to keep a diary of how they were feeling and were called every so often by those leading the tests.

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They will remain in the trials until August 2022. 

"If people drop out they will have no way of knowing how long these antibodies last for the general population," said Mrs Nielsen. 

There were some side effects to the vaccine but Mrs Nielsen said that they were minor.. 

After having her second vaccine, Mrs Nielsen is sure that she caught the coronavirus. 

"I became ill one evening and I got the chills," said Mrs Nielsen. 

"I woke up the next morning a little tired."

It is possible to catch the virus after having a vaccine - in a milder form - particularly as the body takes a few weeks to build up protection. 

Having been on immunosuppressing medication for other conditions, Mrs Nielsen believed the vaccine saved her.

"There is no way I would have survived with the steroids and immunosuppressants I've been on," said Mrs Nielsen.  

It's been a tough time for Mrs Nielsen, seeing the impact of the coronavirus in the US, where case numbers are much higher than in the UK.

"Seeing how other people are dying of Covid-19 it's pretty horrendous what is happening to them," said Mrs Nielsen.

Despite what she has seen in the US, Mrs Nielsen remains concerned about attitudes back in the UK.

"I have got friends and family who are really quite fearful of the vaccines," said Mrs Nielsen.

"They are hearing lots of misinformation. They think it is going to change their DNA."

It was this concern about loved ones which led Mrs Nielsen to want to share her experiences. 

"To me the risk of getting Covid-19 is far greater than the risk of the vaccine," said Mrs Nielsen.

"I'd rather take my chances with the vaccine."

The UK Government has ordered seven million doses of the Moderna vaccine which is due to be rolled out next year.

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