The Latest: What it’s like to be in a Covid-19 vaccine trial

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readSep 30, 2020


Dear Reader,

The ongoing Covid-19 vaccine race is one of the most closely watched science experiments of the pandemic. This week, I interviewed a mother and son who are both participating in clinical trials for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. They shared the ins and outs of what the experience is like (including an adverse reaction and quick recovery) as well as misconceptions about the vaccine they would like put to rest.

“These trials are happening very quickly, but they’re happening,” they said. “They’re real trials. And we’re real people in them.”

READ: What It’s Like to Participate in a Covid-19 Vaccine Trial

Also, indoor dining is commencing in many places across the country. Here’s everything you need to know about the risks of eating indoors at restaurants. (FWIW: I will not be dining indoors anytime soon.)

Here’s what’s new:

  • Covid-19 deaths pass 1 million worldwide: There are over 7.1 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and over 33.7 million confirmed cases worldwide. So far, over 206,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. Read more.
  • Disney to lay off 28,000 workers at its theme parks: The company says limits on attendance and other Covid-19 restrictions are the reason it is cutting the jobs of workers at the parks in California and Florida.
  • The NFL has a Covid-19 outbreak: Three players and five staff members on the Tennessee Titans have tested positive after playing the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Read more.
  • New York state’s positivity rate is slightly up: The statewide positivity rate rose over the weekend, with rates slightly above 1%. Hospitalizations have also risen over the last several days, according to state statistics.
  • Rio cancels Carnival for first time in a century: In response to Covid-19, Rio de Janeiro delayed its annual Carnival parade for the first time in 108 years.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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🤧 Colds Are Back. What Does That Mean for Your Chance of Catching Covid-19?

🍽️ Read This Before You Even Consider Dining Indoors

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A few more smart reads

What It’s Like to Participate in a Covid-19 Vaccine Trial

The Virus Skeptics of the GOP (Who Got Covid-19 Anyway)

Why Some Bodies Tolerate Covid-19 Better Than Others

This College Student Headed Back to Campus. Then an Epidemiologist Rated Her Every Move.

My Husband Died of Covid-19 — And the President Allowed It to Happen

Now Is the Worst Time for Covid-19 Fatigue

Pandemic Highlights Deep-Rooted Problems in Indian Health Service (New York Times)

The Most Complicated Vaccine Campaign in History (The Atlantic)



Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that