Lisa Bari is a 39-year-old health IT policy exec based in Baltimore, Maryland who is participating in a late-stage trial of Johnson & Johnson's experimental coronavirus vaccine.
She received the first dose of vaccine or placebo on November 30 and is scheduled to receive the second dose on January 27.
While Bari is in the two-dose phase of the trial, Johnson & Johnson is also running a separate segment testing a one-dose vaccine on 60,000 participants.
So far, Bari said she hasn't experienced any serious side effects from the first shot, beyond a headache that might or might not be related.
She also said she fully trusts in the vaccine production process, and will take one as soon as it becomes available.
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I volunteered for the Johnson & Johnson experimental coronavirus vaccine because I want to do absolutely everything I can to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. I already wear masks everywhere I go, I'm not dining indoors, and I've eliminated nearly all socializing that doesn't happen outdoors or online.
I approached the prospect of a clinical trial from a public health perspective.
I have a public health degree, used to work in the US federal government on health IT policy, and currently serve as the interim CEO of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative, a national association that represents health information exchanges and networks.
I care deeply about this work and know that the vaccine development process — with multiple candidate vaccines in development — is going to require potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans to agree to take part.
While vaccine trials absolutely must prioritize enrollment of Black people and people of color, the long history of racism and inequitable access to health care means that Black people and people of color have very legitimate reasons to be hesitant about joining clinical trials. As a white person, I understand that my participation may help provide baseline vaccine safety information, and will hopefully encourage other people to join.
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After I saw an ad for the ENSEMBLE 2 study, I filled out the online form and was connected to a local study site, which is a primary and urgent care practice.