Do your best to be part of the solution, not the problem. That is Donna Lessard’s motto in life, and serves more as a statement for all Canadians as we begin to enter another year battling COVID-19. Donna is a nurse from Quebec who has recently been part of the Medicago Vaccine Study, a clinical research trial at LMC Manna Research Mirabel site that is exploring one of the many new and upcoming COVID-19 vaccines. Below, she shares her experience, her thoughts, and decision on why participating in clinical research is helping towards a greater solution to COVID-19.
Why did you decide to participate in the Medicago Vaccine Research study?
My motto in life is “do your best to be part of the solution and not part of the problem”. The Covid-19 pandemic is a terrifying world-wide issue and, by participating in the vaccine study, I am doing my small part in finding a solution. As a nurse with 50 years of experience, 20 of these in clinical research, I have a keen appreciation of the process and I have faith in the medical staff who work so hard to advance the products (vaccines) that will improve the lives of people of all ages.
How did your family and friends feel about this?
My family and friends know that I work very hard at keeping myself healthy, and that I care about the health and well-being of others. They know that if I find a study worthy of my time, it must be because I trust the process. I have referred many friends to this study, but, unfortunately, their health issues did not allow them to participate.
What has been your experience thus far?
Thus far my experience has only been positive. The research staff have met my expectations, provided a close supervision of my participation and answered my questions competently. All appointments were on time.
What are the positives? What parts are challenging?
a) I feel that I am giving back to society and furthering the search for an effective vaccine.
b) I experienced very minor and brief discomfort with vaccine reactions i.e. mild arm pain and headache that required no analgesics.
Challenges: the electronic diary has been the only challenge. I feel that it has not proven to be as time efficient as was expected.
Any words of advice for people considering to contribute to COVID-19 research?
Advice to others: trust in research. You are not putting your life in danger, you are contributing to the good of mankind. If you are unable to participate, refer a friend, neighbour or family member. We can all contribute in some way to find a solution.