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'I am willing to be on the frontlines' | Guilford County woman participates in Pfizer vaccine clinical trial

It's been a difficult eight months, but the last two weeks show major progress when it comes to a coronavirus vaccine.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — It's been a difficult eight months, but the last two weeks show major progress. Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna report to have vaccines with 95 percent effectiveness, following clinical trials involving thousands of people. 

One participant - Carol Caffarel - lives right here, in the Triad. She tells WFMY News 2 she wanted to be on the frontlines in some way. Unsure at first of how this would happen, her doctor told her she qualified for a study.

"My doctor said that I might be a good subject for a COVID study because I was in a high-risk group - meaning old! And I figured that it was okay if my doctor recommended it so I was referred to the people who are running the clinical trial here in Greensboro," she explained. 

RELATED: Fauci: Pfizer, Moderna coronavirus vaccine efficacy on level of measles vaccine

The Pfizer clinical trial is a double-blind study, meaning, neither the experimenters or participants know who's getting the vaccine, and who's getting a placebo.

Though she personally believes she received the vaccine because of some minor side effects, Caffarel is still masking up and socially distancing from others.

"I am not assuming that I have the actual vaccine, or that it actually has efficacy for me and my particular health," she said, "But, I am willing to be on the frontlines to make sure that we do get the data collected, we do get as much information as possible so that we can have a great vaccine that works for this COVID strain."

Caffarel knows, some people are skeptical about a COVID-19 vaccine. But, she says it's encouraging to see results.

Pfizer said this week, the vaccine is 95 percent effective, and will seek the FDA's approval very soon.

With a new grandson, born during the pandemic, Caffarel felt even more driven to do her part. 

"I don't want to wait around and see if everybody is doing okay with the vaccine. I just wanted to make sure that the little generation of kids, like our seven month old, is not going to have to even think about this. Maybe get a vaccine but that's it."

Caffarel says her trial work isn't over. She'll fill out a weekly diary, describing her symptoms or the lack thereof, for two years.