A New York Times reporter volunteers for a vaccine

A New York Times reporter volunteers for a vaccine

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The New York Times daily said today that its Pentagon correspondent, Helene Cooper, was invited by George Washington University Hospital to participate in a trial for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. The researchers targeted her for her coronavirus risk factors: She is a Black woman, Type 1 diabetic, and asthmatic.

She signed up. (In March, Helene asked Dr. Anthony Fauci what would happen if she contracted the virus. “I’m not saying you’re a dead duck, but I cannot stress enough that you really need to not get it,” he replied.)

Last Wednesday, after a sleepless night, Helene received the first of her two injections, becoming participant No. 130 in George Washington University’s portion of the Moderna trials. She described the experience:

The shot went into my upper arm. I felt little more than a pinch. They made me stick around for 30 more minutes to monitor my vital signs and then sent me home with a swag bag that included a digital thermometer, instructions to fill an electronic diary every night monitoring my symptoms, some hand sanitizer and a gift card with $100, my first payment for donating my immune system to science. My second shot will be administered on Sept. 28.

With the Moderna trial, the side effects reported so far have been typical: fever, chills, muscle and joint soreness. No one has dropped dead from it yet, which I took as a good sign.