Aches, pain, fatigue: New York senator describes symptoms during COVID vaccine trial

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- A New York state senator is speaking out about his decision to participate in a vaccine trial for COVID-19.

Sen. Brad Hoylman said he has always been a supporter of vaccines and wanted to do his part.

Hoylman has received two doses of the vaccine - he got the first dose in early August and the second shot in late August.

"After the second dose, it was...I would call it a small wallop," Hoylman said. "I had fever chills, aches and pains for about 24 hours and then a week's worth of fatigue."

Hoylman still doesn't know if he got Pfizer's actual vaccine or a placebo.

RELATED | Pfizer says early data shows coronavirus shot may be 90% effective

The Manhattan Democrat and father of two is a self-described pro-vaccine legislator. He willingly signed up for the Phase 3 trial for two reasons: the first was to protect his family, the second:

"Because I need to put money where my mouth is," Hoylman said. "If I believe in vaccines like I say I do in Albany passing these bills, then Senator, you need to sign up to be a vaccine trial participant and that's exactly what I did."

Vaccine production is one challenge and vaccine distribution is another.

Right now the federal government plan involves carriers like UPS and FedEx. On Wednesday, FedEx officials offered words of reassurance to George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America."

"We will be able to get a vaccine to every administration or dosing center administering the vaccines to the American public in these communities where they are waiting for these vaccines," Richard Smith said.

Perhaps the greatest mass inoculation hurdle is the willful cooperation of the general public. Not everyone is a vaccine advocate - and the rush to production has some people worried about safety.

"We get vaccines to the American people and they don't take them, shame on us," said Gen. Gustave Perna, COO of Operation Warp Speed. "'Hey, I was already sick. I don't need it.' Shame on us. And it does keep me up at night."

Hoylman doesn't see vaccines as controversial, but as a necessary health precaution.

Researchers will monitor his progress for the next two years and ultimately tell him if he got the placebo so that he can return for the actual vaccine.

RELATED | 5 things to know about the Pfizer vaccine
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