CT man shares his journey as Pfizer nationwide COVID vaccine trial participant

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One local man, who was number 17 in New Haven for Pfizer’s nationwide COVID vaccine trial back in August, spoke to News 8 on Tuesday about his journey as a participant in the trial.

When News 8’s Amber Diaz asked if the trial scared him, Anthony Lupinacci, Director of Marketing and Community Relations at the Shubert Theater in New Haven said, “No. I’m more scared of the virus than of the vaccine.”

RELATED: ‘I didn’t hesitate for a second’: Retired Pfizer employee shares her experience as a participant in Pfizer’s COVID vaccine trial

Even though it’s a blind study, Lupinacci did not go into the trial blindly. He poured over clinical research, read articles about how the vaccine was being produced and how our bodies would use it.

“It kind of didn’t matter to me whether I received the vaccine or the placebo,” he explained. “What mattered to me was that I was participating and helping them collect the necessary info that they needed to make a determination of whether the vaccine was being effective or not.”

After his first shot on Aug. 28 at Yale New Haven Hospital, he used a verified mobile app to keep a diary for seven days, being sure to keep an eye out for possible side effects including:

  • Soreness at the injection site.
  • Achy feeling in the legs.
  • Possible fever.
  • Mild headache.

Lupinacci never had any of those symptoms.

Three weeks after the first shot, he received a second shot and kept up with his diary.

His last step was getting bloodwork. He said the whole process was simple for a disease so complex.

“I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid of science, I’m not afraid of the truth, I’m not afraid of trying to find some way of being a part of something that can end this situation that we’re in.”

For the next two years, Lupinacci will be monitored. He doesn’t have to check in weekly but he will be checked on.

He’ll never know which shot he received — the placebo or the COVID vaccine, but his message rings clear:

“We have to all do something, and if it means rolling up your sleeve and getting an injection, don’t be afraid of it.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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