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Woman who took part in Seattle’s Moderna trial hopes for vaccine’s approval

“I’m glad that I felt comfortable being part of the study. It’s really difficult, particularly for Black and indigenous people in this country."

A local Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial participant said she hopes the vaccine is approved this week.

Richelle Dickerson said she thought it was important to participate as a woman of color because POC have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus.

COVID-19 infects Black Americans three times more than it does white Americans, according to NBC. They are also twice as likely to die from the virus.

At one point, Moderna had to slow enrollment in order to increase its focus on finding more minority participants.

“I’m glad that I felt comfortable being part of the study," said Dickerson. "It’s really difficult, particularly for Black and indigenous people in this country. There’s a really good reason that we don’t feel comfortable with medical science."

Dickerson started the trial with her first shot in September. She said she felt a little soreness in her arm.

A month later, she got the second shot and experienced mild symptoms including a fever, headaches and achiness that passed in two to three days.

Despite her symptoms, Dickerson said being a part of the trial was worth the risk, and she hopes the vaccine gets Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

“My biggest concern is just how fast they can do all of this," said Dickerson. "I think it’s going to be messy and I think people should expect it to be messy and you know we live in a country where people aren’t good with messy."

“I’m just glad it looks like we might have something that will alter the course of all of this," she continued.

An FDA panel is meeting Thursday morning to consider approving the Moderna vaccine.

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