Orlando family describes their experience participating in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Video: Orlando family takes part in COVID vaccine trial

ORLANDO, Fla. — On Friday, the drug maker Pfizer took the next step in its vaccine approval process. The company filed for emergency use authorization from the FDA.

This week, Pfizer announced the vaccine is 95% effective.

If it is approved the vaccine could be sent out just hours later as part of Operation Warp Speed.

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Federal officials say the United States already has 40 million doses of vaccine stockpiled.

Here in Orlando the Barbosa family has been participating in that Pfizer trial. The family says it has been about two months since all four of them received their second shot. They say they have no lasting problems.

The Barbosa’s also said their motivation was very personal.

Laura Barbosa and her kids do everything they can to protect their husband and father Jose from getting COVID-19.

Jose is high risk from having open heart surgery and heart disease.

They were worried about how long it might take to get the vaccine once it was approved.

“So as a family we all decide to do it just to prevent, you know, anything happens to me,” said Jose Barbosa.

Laura Barbosa said, “But also maybe that he would get the vaccine a little sooner and we could prevent him from getting very ill, like so many people have.”

The Barbosa family also wanted to do their part in ending the pandemic, so they volunteered for the trial.

All four received their first shot in September and had little issues.

After the second shot in October, Laura and her son experienced minor side effects. She said the side effects only lasted a few hours and it was worth it.

“I was actually happy because it meant I might have gotten the vaccine, it was just a little fever, took Tylenol felt fine,” Laura said. “It was less than a cold. It wasn’t like being sick with the flu. And it’s certainly better than being intubated in the ICU.”

Jose and his daughter had no reaction after the second shot, and the family thinks those two might have received the placebo.

Jose Barbosa says he also wanted to participate because he is Latino and Pfizer told him they have not had enough minorities sign up.