U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced earlier this week his participation in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial and that he has since tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
“The only way we're going to end this pandemic is by getting a vaccine out to the American people,” Senator Daines said via phone to Wake Up Montana.
Pfizer says their vaccine 95% effective and is seeking the FDA emergency use authorization.
“My mom told me about it,” Senator Daines said, “my parents live in Bozeman and my mom was made aware of the Pfizer trial being administered by Bozeman Health… so Cindy (the senator's wife) enrolled online.”
Over 100 Montanans participated in the trial that began back in August.
“We received our first shot back in August and the second booster a few weeks later in September,” Senator Daines said, “I did an antibody test in October and found out that I have the strong anti-bodies, which means I'm protected from COVID.”
Senator Daines says that he's grateful for the trial and that he and his wife Cindy wanted to do this to help build confidence and trust in the vaccine for Montanans.
“For those who get their annual flu shot, it felt like the flu shot,” Senator Daines said, “virtually painless, very quick, I had a little bit of a sore arm- about 24 hours later it went away, I had some mild chills that second day just for a few hours, and that went away, but very similar to getting the flu shot.”
The senator is confident in the vaccine and says that the science behind it is something he trusts. Senator Daines has made the research, development, and manufacturing of a COVID-19 vaccine a top priority of his.
Daines supported an initial $10 billion to move forward with dual tracking of clinical trials and manufacturing, known as Operation Warp Speed.
As per mandating the vaccine the senator believes it should be a decision, not a mandate.
“I don't believe it should be mandated however I'm going to encourage Montanans to use their own common sense… But the more Montanans to take the vaccine the sooner we can get this pandemic ended,” Senator Daines said, “but I don't support a mandate.”