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'This is something I can do': San Antonians among the first to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials

The first of four trials began Thursday in the Alamo City.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio has joined the race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus. The Clinical Trials of Texas is overseeing four vaccine trials, which are underway as of this week. 

Mary Dixson is the first person in San Antonio dosed with an experimental coronavirus vaccine.

"I ended up being patient 0001," she said. "So many people are giving so much to solve this problem; this is something I can do."

Dixson and hundreds of others in the San Antonio community are participating in vaccine studies at the Clinical Trials of Texas on Fredericksburg Road. Kay Scroggins is the CEO and president of the multi-specialty research organization.

"To be involved in a vaccine development as significant as this one is for our world, our nation, state and our city is just amazingly exciting," she said.

Thursday was the start for participants like Dixson to be injected. Steven Davis was another who signed up for the prick in the arm—a momentary experience with potentially monumental effects as the pandemic rages on. 

"We are aiming in these studies to develop a vaccine that will hopefully build immunity in people's bodies so that they won't be able to contract the disease of COVID-19," Scroggins said.

This research is critical in the global fight of the virus, which means all eyes are on San Antonio and the other cities where vaccine trials are unfolding. 

"It is historical," Scroggins said. "Conducting a large vaccine study is an art in itself. There is a lot that goes into it."

Dixson is participating in a two-year study of a vaccine from pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

"It is a double-blind study, which means I don't know – and the researchers don't know – if i have the vaccine or the placebo," Dixson said. "That's a big part of science."

During this time, she will be monitored and have her blood drawn. Her next shot is scheduled in a few weeks.

"People have said things to me like, 'Thanks for taking one for the team,' or, 'It is really heroic,' and I don't see it that way," she said. "I see it that we all benefit from vaccines that are created, and people need to be a part of that."

Pfizer has a deal with the U.S. government. The company said it could manufacture 100 million doses of the COVID vaccine by the end of the year, and Americans would receive it for free. 

But that it is dependent on how the trial goes in the next few months.

The Clinical Trials of Texas is still seeking participants for these studies. For more information on if you qualify, click here.