WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) – As clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine are underway, one local elected official is stepping up to the plate.
“Everything has risk. You take medicine, you take aspirin, there are side effects,” said Larry Maggi.
Maggi has served Washington County as a commissioner for nearly 20 years. Now he’s taking a risk and reaching out to help beyond the state’s border.
“I just wanted to do something like everyone. I wanted to be part of something positive. We got to solve this no matter where you or at or how you feel about it. It’s here and we have to come up with a solution as a country and I wanted to be part of a solution,” Maggi said.
Maggi is one of 30,000 participants in the COVID-19 Pfizer clinical vaccine trial in Columbus, Ohio.
“They don’t want me to take any chances, but they don’t want me to just stay in my room the next two months and not interact with anyone because they have to see how this vaccine works,” Maggi said.
On Wednesday, he spent four hours at the clinic where he received his first treatment. Neither he nor his doctors know if he is being injected with the vaccine or a placebo.
“Like everyone, you are thinking your mind is overactive. Like I have a little scratch here is that because of the vaccine? But it really wasn’t,” Maggi said.
Overall, Maggi said he feels good. He’s documenting his journey while constantly checking his temperature.
He told KDKA his only concern was if he could get coronavirus from being a participant, but his doctor said it’s scientifically impossible.
“Makes me feel like I’m being part of something, maybe being part of a solution, no matter how small it is and that’s a good feeling,” Maggi said.
Maggi will head back to Ohio in a few weeks for his second treatment. In total, he will make six trips over the next few months.