'I'll give it a shot': Cape Fear Valley Health attorney shares experience in Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- With the Moderna vaccine making its way around North Carolina this week, ABC11 spoke to one Cape Fear Valley Health employee who partook in the clinical trials earlier in the year.

Michael Becker joined CFVH's legal team in April just after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Zoom interview with ABC11, he recalled the health system's rush to be ready for a large influx of hospitalizations.

Months later, in July, the attorney heard about CFVH partnering with Carolina Institute for Clinical Health and Wake Research of Raleigh to conduct nationwide clinical trials with the Moderna vaccine. The institute enrolled more than 350 people from the Fayetteville area, including Becker.

"I said, 'Alright, I'll sign up. I'll give it a shot," Becker said.

After receiving his first round of the vaccine in August, Becker told ABC 11 his symptoms were mild.

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"The only thing that I had was that I was just really tired, which was cool for me, because all I did...I just slept for 12 hours straight," said Becker.

A month later, the attorney returned for his second dose and only dealt with sleepiness as a reoccurring symptom. Since then, Becker says he's been doing well and wasn't required to get the Pfizer vaccine because of his clinical trial.

Becker recalls seeing a diverse group of participants when he went to get his two shots of the vaccine. "I think it really shows people stepping up that maybe, usually, don't step up, and I'm glad I can be a part of it."

As the Moderna vaccine starts to make its way across North Carolina, Becker urges people to believe the experts and trust the science.

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"I would encourage people, if you're not going to take something, do it for the right reasons. Don't do it because you're getting third, fourth, fifth, or sixth hand knowledge," Becker said.

Becker told ABC11 the clinical trial will last for two years. He says medical experts will be monitoring his antibody count, in order to see how long the Moderna vaccine will remain effective in the human body.

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