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Local Moderna participant becomes big part of history, looking forward to the small things

Major news on the vaccine front

HOUSTON – Last week, Pfizer said their vaccine candidate is 90% effective and Monday Moderna said theirs is 94.5% effective.

Christene Kimmel was the first patient in Houston to participate in the trial. Although, she does not know if she received the vaccine or a placebo.

She said on her birthday she made a promise to herself and her family she would do something to help get back us all get back to normal.

“I needed a way to be able to help and I wanted to show (my children) that just putting your arm out sometimes is a way that you can help and so for me, it was not only showing them that I was willing to do this but then after going through that second shot and evaluating it, this is something that I would give my children and my family, absolutely,” Kimmel said.

Kimmel claimed she did a lot of research, including calling participants from other cities before she agreed to become the first Houston participant to stick her arm out.

When the news broke that Moderna, the second company in a week, said they’re close to getting emergency use authorization, she felt validated that all her hopes, precautions and worries weren’t for nothing.

“If this helps to get us back, gets them back to school, get them back socializing with her friends, gets all of us back,” she said. “I just wanna hug! That’s all I asked for for my birthday and if I have to wait until 2021 to get that, then so be it.”

It’s possible the FDA could grant both emergency use authorizations for Moderna & Pfizer in the next few weeks.

Kimmel said the researchers she has been working with have told her if she didn’t get the real shot (if she got a placebo) she’ll be notified to get a vaccine once it’s available to the public.