FORT WORTH, Texas — As a high school science teacher, in public education for more than three decades, David McClure is motivated by a desire to help others and an innate curiosity.
He says both were driving factors in his decision to participate in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials, carried out by Benchmark research in Fort Worth. The 60-year-old from Wylie says he has diabetes, high blood pressure and heart issues; the research group was looking for participants with high risks, who were older and who were frontline workers.
“I just decided, look, I’m going to go with this, I’m going to take a chance with this,” McClure said. “This is a part of history. How often do you get a chance to be a part of finding the cure for a virus that has swept across a planet?”
Trial participants are not told right away whether they actually received the vaccine or got a placebo. But the grandfather of two has a strong suspicion he received the vaccine. He says a blood test this fall showed he had COVID-19 antibodies, which he says he didn’t have before the trial.
He says he does not believe he caught the coronavirus in between when he got the shots in September and October, and when he got the antibody results later in October.
McClure says if he did receive the vaccine, he had no side effects besides soreness in the injection site.
According to a Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth article, one of their nurses also took part. Christi Thornhill believes she, too, received the vaccine, saying she had body aches, joint pain and a low-grade fever.
"I think my symptoms were very similar to what we see when we give kids immunizations,” she said in the article. "They're fussy and don't feel well but usually within a day or two that resolves, and it did for me."
“It's science,” McClure said of his participation in the vaccine trial. “It's a love of people and it's protecting my family.”
And a hope that his small part will make a huge difference.