Fr. John M. Fields, a Pennsylvania priest who participated in the third phase of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial, died of cardiac arrest on Nov. 27.
On Nov. 23, the late Philadelphia priest told to Catholic News Service (CNS) that he was accepted into the trial at the University of Pennsylvania and was the first volunteer at Penn, receiving his first injection on Aug. 31. But before that, he was tested for COVID-19, and the result was negative. He said that he had to report every day about his temperature and any symptoms like fatigue, nausea, injection site pain, arm swelling, chills or fever, or headaches for the first week after the injection. He felt no such symptoms. On Oct. 1, he received a second injection, after which he felt no symptoms either. As a volunteer in the Moderna study group at the University of Pennsylvania, he found the news of the vaccine's effectiveness very encouraging. On Oct. 26, he returned for a follow-up evaluation. He was to be evaluated for twenty-five months, and his next evaluation was already scheduled for March 2021.
It was a blind study; about 50 percent of the participants received the experimental vaccine, and the remaining 50 percent a placebo of saline solution. The Penn Care team participants were not informed who received the vaccine and who received the placebo. The injections are coded for the study.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.