San Diego man takes part in COVID-19 vaccine trial


SAN DIEGO — Several clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines on humans are now underway.  One is being done by Biotech Company Moderna and a San Diego man was first in line to take part in the trial. 

“I’m so tired of the world of COVID. I want it to be over. Honestly, I just to help get the world back to normal,” Dan Selstad said.

He is one of the first in San Diego to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in phase three of clinical trials.  

“I have a 50% chance of getting the virus vaccination or a placebo,” Selstad said.

The vaccine, known as MRNA-1273, was developed by Moderna and the National Institute Of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, headed up by Dr. Anthony Fauci. FOX 5 asked Selstad if he is scared or worried about the trial.

“No. I have complete faith in our healthcare system,” he said. “I think I’m healthy enough to fight this off if I got COVID. I certainly don’t think I’m gonna have any problems with the vaccine.” 

The trial involves 30,000 adult volunteers from around the country. It will last two years. Patients are checked out in person periodically. They check in daily through an app. So far, it is showing a lot of promise despite some dosage problems early on.  

“Some people had some mild side effects but nothing major,” Selstad said.

The vaccine does not use the live virus so it is relatively safe. That isn’t stopping some in Selstad’s life from being concerned. 

“I’m not afraid of the vaccine but I know a lot of people who are, and I’d love to prove them wrong.  In my own family, let’s just say I’ve gotten a lot of backlash,” he said. 

Still, he says, the decision to participate was easy.

“I’ve got a kid who’s a senior in high school. I’ve got one who’s a senior in college right now. Their last years of school can be ruined by this virus — and it already has been up to this point,” Selstad said. “And I’m supposed to get married. I just had to reschedule my wedding.”

While altruism may have moved him to volunteer, it’s his sense of humor that will carry him through the trial.

“This is my last will and testament as a non-zombie human being,” he joked.

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