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A few hours of flu-like symptoms? 'Absolutely' worth it for this woman who was in a Covid-19 vaccine trial

Dr. Thomas Froelich and his wife, Susan, describe their experience after participating in the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine trial in August and September.

Posted: Dec 6, 2020 7:01 PM
Updated: Dec 6, 2020 7:01 PM

Four hours of body aches cured by a common pain reliever.

That's the extent of the side effects Susan Froehlich endured after taking two shots of an experimental Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. And she would "absolutely" do it again if needed.

"I woke up with a horrible stomach ache and headache, and it was like I was at the beginning stages of a bad flu," Froehlich told CNN during its global coronavirus town hall Friday night. "And so, I didn't have anything to take for it at the time, so I was in a lot of pain until about four hours later, when my husband woke up and I had him go get me some Naproxen."

"All those symptoms went away. If I had had Naproxen right away, I think those symptoms would've abated more quickly. But my muscles hurt, my joints hurt, my bones hurt, my jaw hurt," she said. "But it was for such a short time."

She and her husband, Dr. Thomas Froehlich, who treats cancer patients, received the first dose August 21 of either the vaccine or a placebo. Participants in the blinded study weren't told which.

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After the second dose September 18, she said she woke up in the middle of the night 12 hours later in pain. "Every part of my body was hurting for about four hours," she told Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Her husband was not surprised by her symptoms, which he said are common when people receive some medicine.

He had no symptoms and believes he must have received the placebo.

Susan Froehlich said she would "absolutely, hands down" take the vaccine again if it meant going through a similar reaction.

"And if it becomes necessary for me to get this once a year, you can bet I'll be the first in line," she said. "We need to have everybody out getting this vaccine. It is so much better than getting the disease. We have had several friends now and relatives who have come down with Covid, and I don't want to go through it."

Her husband agreed, adding he will advise cancer patients to take it because "it's completely safe."

"What you go through is certainly not terrible, and it's better than getting the virus," he said.

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