Amarillo College instructor participates in Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination trial


Mario Mireles, instructor of microbiology at Amarillo College.

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Prior to it being released to the masses, one Amarillo College instructor was making history in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mario Mireles, an instructor of microbiology at the college, participated in the clinical vaccine trial for Pfizer beginning in July 2020. According to a news release, the trial was over the span of two years, including around 44,000 individuals from the United States and Europe. Some participants received experimental vaccines while others received placebos in the double-blind study.

“If I believe in science, and I do, then I feel like I should put my money where my mouth is,” Mireles said in the release. “I believe in the medicines that have been developed by our pharmaceutical companies, and I believe in the vaccines they’ve developed… That gave me great peace of mind during that terrible winter, with such a high number of cases and deaths. Even so, I’ve continued to wear a mask and socially distance – and I’ll do that for as long as it takes since we know that it helps reduce cases, even among those who don’t want to get vaccinated.”

Mireles, who was vaccinated “for real” in November, said in the release that the aim of the trial was producing an effective vaccine in the short term, while proving it could be safe in the long term. Because of this, Mireles will continue to report for blood tests and health assessments into next summer.

“I wanted to be part of the study to see if the vaccine provided more benefit than harm, which obviously it does since it received full FDA approval in August,” Mireles said in the release. “I’m more than happy to continue with these assessments because the more data we can accumulate to combat the misinformation that’s out there, the better off everyone will be.”

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