Howland woman taking part in experimental COVID-19 vaccine study says she ‘wanted to contribute’


Her friends think she's crazy, but she said she wants to be part of something that could work to protect people from the virus

HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – How do you know if a vaccine is going to work against the coronavirus if you don’t test it? Americans are rolling up their sleeves to be part of the experimental vaccine. One woman we talked to believes her help is vital.

Linda Cator, of Howland, took her shot Wednesday.

“If I think about it, yeah, it’s a little sore but it was no different than getting a flu shot, really,” she said.

The 75-year-old is part of a Moderna study testing a vaccine to find out if it can help the immune system produce effective antibodies against the virus.

Her friends think she’s crazy.

“Well, because they don’t believe what’s in it. They keep thinking they’re going to give you the live virus,” Cator said.

This vaccine is not made from a weakened or inactive virus. Rather, it’s made from a protein thought to help the body’s immune system fight COVID-19.

Like a typical study, it’s being compared to a placebo. Cator doesn’t know which group she’s in.

“I feel anytime we can get something that’s going to protect everybody and there’s a chance it’s going to work, I want to be part of it,” she said.

Her only hesitation was if another vaccine came out, she doesn’t know if she could get it. The answer is yes, she could.

Cator was part of an ibuprofen study years ago. That company called her to see if she wanted to be part of the vaccine test.

“They do give you some money for being in the study but that’s not a concern for me because…I felt that I wanted to contribute,” she said.

She gets $90 per shot and roughly $25 a day for taking her temperature and responding to questions. Her second shot is next month.

Cator is being tested and does not have the coronavirus.

“When they stick that up your nose, it’s not very fun to do, or draw blood but the thing is, it’s the purpose of it,” she said.

The company doing this testing, Rapid Medical Research in Beachwood, is enrolling for at least nine studies right now.

You can apply to be a participant in these studies on its website.

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