Gary Lahens of Honolulu took part in the company’s vaccine trials for the safety of his family and community, he told news outlet KHON2. He rolled his sleeve before the cameras to show the bandage on his arm.
“I did this study in the beginning because of my mom and my aunties, they’re all in their eighties,” Lahens told the outlet. “I think it was a good thing for me to do.”
The Hawaii man received his first two Pfizer doses in September, months before the product went before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was ultimately granted emergency use authorization. Now months later in the booster study, Lahens received his third dose, and has undergone swab tests and had blood samples taken. Pfizer plans to follow up with study participants for two years.
“I want to help people, that’s why I was a cop before, so it still stays in part of your blood,” Lahens said. “I feel that if it works, it helps us open Hawaii, it helps a lot of people.”
One doctor involved with the vaccine rollout in Kauai told the outlet he was interested to see results from the studies.
“It’s been predicted that we might have a dramatic boost in antibodies after the third shot and we’re waiting to see on the many hundred fold level,” Dr. Warren Sparks, family practice specialist told KHON2. “And that might be a good thing, it might reduce the breakthrough cases to a true zero.”
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla recently said a third dose will “likely” be needed within six to 12 months after people complete their initial vaccination series, as well as annual shots thereafter. In February, the company began testing whether a third shot could offer greater protection against emerging strains of the virus, like the concerning strain first detected in South Africa. Updated findings recently showed the vaccine had lasting protection for up to six months, and of 800 participants in a late-stage trial in South Africa, nine COVID-19 cases occurred, all in the placebo group.