Newport News couple says so far, so good after participating in COVID-19 vaccine test

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — When Pfizer Pharmaceuticals recently reported its vaccine candidate may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, that was no surprise to Steve and Chris Eldred of Newport News.

The retired couple are apparently proof that the double-shot treatment could actually work.

They received vaccinations back in August as part of Pfizer’s vaccine trial.

So, how are they feeling?

“Wonderful! I feel great,” said Chris Eldred.

And, Steve Eldred?

“She said it,” he said.

Steve Eldred tells how it all happened: “This all started for us in August. We signed up and took our first shot in that month. Three weeks later, we had the follow-up shot. That’s how the Pfizer vaccine works.”

Steve Eldred said that in October, a month after the second vaccination, the two gave blood samples. The results would show the vaccine was working if it produced antibodies to prevent COVID-19.

“It’s a 50-50 shot,” said Steve Eldred. “And a double-blind study, so neither we nor the people that administered the shots knew what we were getting.”

Shortly after that second vaccination, Steve and Chris Eldred traveled to Florida to visit a daughter who had recently moved there — yes, in the middle of the pandemic.

“We wanted to know our status. So, independently of the shot, we got an antibody test and the results of those are that I have the antibodies — she does not,” Steve Eldred said.

That means Steve Eldred got the vaccine. And Chris got a placebo. No side effects from either. But most importantly, neither has COVID-19.

But what about the other elephant in the lab: the flu?

“They let us have the flu shot after this,” said Chris Eldred. “They didn’t want us to have it during the time [of the trial]. They didn’t want it interfering with the test. And I have to tell you, both of us have had more reaction to the flu shot, the basic flu shot, than we did the vaccine.”

“Just soreness,” said Steve Eldred, grabbing his shoulder.

So far, so good for the Eldreds. They said Pfizer will continue to monitor them for at least another two years.

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