Moment of truth after Moderna vaccine clinical trials

Out of more than 400 participants, KGNS didn’t have to look far to find some part of the Moderna clinical trials... our own Ruben Villarreal was one of them.
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 11:20 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - It’s pretty rare that people who were part of a clinical study are unveiled, but some here locally are finding out the big question.

Did they or did they not get the real COVID vaccine?

Out of more than 400 participants, KGNS didn’t have to look far to find some part of the Moderna clinical trials, our own Digital News anchor Ruben Villarreal was one of them.

On Monday, we headed over to Doctor Milton Haber’s office to find out, did he get the vaccine or a placebo?

First took place a regular checkup, blood pressure check, nasal swab check, and blood drawn. Then, the moment of truth.

“The Moderna trial indicated that the first vaccine and the second vaccine, you received the vaccine,” said Dr. Haber. “So that’s the first and the second doses, which is amazing.”

But there’s another reason why Ruben’s case was unique.

“You’re the first patient that participated in the clinical trials with Moderna here in Laredo, Texas. Obviously as a double blinded study, I did not know what you received. No one did, except the pharmacist. And you’re really protected.”

That means because Ruben was a participant, he received both vaccines back in August.

“Let me just say, doc, I only did the vaccine trial because of you,” said Ruben. “I had no intention of doing this vaccine trial, at all. You came on the show and you talked about it. The second time you talked about it, there was something that you said and I said, ‘you know what, if Dr. Haber has confidence in this clinical trail, then I want to be a part of this.’”

But as cases continue to rise, and with a high number of uninsured people in the community, this is what Dr. Haber has to say to those wanting to get treated:

”It makes no difference if they’re insured or noninsured, if the patients need to be admitted to the hospital. Let me tell you, LMC and Doctors Hospital have admitted uninsured patients for decades. But all hospitals, all hospitals need to accept insured and noninsured patients specifically more in a pandemia. Simply because these patients do need healthcare and need to be treated.”

As for the vaccine, Dr. Haber speaks out on the concerns regarding using only one dose.

“Government and science just does not mix. We have to trust science and continue to trust science in regard to this pandemia. But no, I disagree totally with changing the protocol for Moderna. It should be a two-injection protocol just like it’s been done since the beginning of the study. I totally disagree with the government stating that it should be a one vile injection. As a physician, as a researcher, I totally disagree.”

For Ruben, what comes next regarding the trials?

“For the others who found out they got the vaccine, what is the step for us, I want to continue with the study?” asked Ruben.

“It is highly recommended that you continue in the study. So we can measure your naturalized antibodies as time progresses.”

Some of the questions Dr. Haber has received regarding the vaccine are: if a person gets the vaccine can you still get COVID?

The answer is yes, but you won’t get the exposure from the vaccine. It’s possible you were exposed prior to getting the vaccine applied.

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