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Local doctor encourages people to get COVID-19 vaccine after taking part in clinical trial

Benefit outweighs the risk according to doctor
Posted at 7:37 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 20:05:53-05

CLEVELAND — People across the country started getting the very first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

But before the FDA gave its stamp of approval, thousands of people across the globe got a shot in the arm for science, including more than 150 Northeast Ohioans.

“I thought it was important to set an example,” said Dr. Daniel Simon with University Hospitals.

Simon, an interventional cardiologist, knew in his heart he needed to take part in the clinical trial.

“I see people who are really, really sick. They’re your brother, your sister, parents and grandparents,” Simon said.

He was one of the 44,000 people who took part in Pfizer's stage 3 clinical trial. “

"You’re a doctor, but you’re a person and it’s very tough,” he said while talking about the number of people who have died from the virus.

Simon doesn’t know if got the placebo or the real vaccine but will eventually find out.

“I did have pain in my arm, chills, muscle aches like you get when you get a vaccine. I don’t know if that means I got it or not, but it was well tolerated,” Simon said.

Pfizer said its vaccine is 95% effect and has proven to be safe. According to experts, in order for herd immunity to take place more than 70% of Americans will need to be vaccinated. The latest survey numbers put the number of Americans who would be vaccinated around 63%.

“You have to weigh the risk and the benefits. I can tell you, I believe the risks of the vaccine are low and the benefit is great,” Simon said.

In Ohio, health care workers are among the first to get vaccinated and the pandemic has taken a toll on them.

“You see it in their eyes and it’s tough, “ Simon said.

The first doses of the vaccine are expected to be given to workers at University Hospitals next week on Dec. 23, Simon said.

RELATED: 'This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic,' Gov. DeWine says as first COVID vaccines arrive in Ohio

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