Dr John Hall. Ochre Health.
Dr John Hall. Ochre Health.

Former Toowoomba GP volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trial

A FORMER Toowoomba doctor has volunteered to be a guinea pig in one of four COVID-19 vaccine trials currently operating in Australia.

Dr John Hall was managing director of Downs Rural Medical until February this year, when it merged with rural and regional medical centre operator Ochre Health.

Now the director of medical services for Ochre Health, Dr Hall said Paratus Clinical, which is co-located with one of Ochre Health's practices in Canberra, approached Ochre Health looking for volunteers for a COVID-19 vaccine trial.

The vaccine is being developed by US-based company Novavax.

"Obviously, when we found out about it we were really excited to be a part of the solution, to get involved in trying to find the vaccine for COVID-19," Dr Hall said.

Dr Hall said he had volunteered to test the vaccine and received his shot last Saturday.

He said he was feeling "really well".

"I've pretty much had minimal side effects, to me it was like getting the flu jab," he said.

"I've had zero symptoms after that.

"The trial itself is pretty involved, it requires three shots on different occasions and multiple blood tests."

Dr Hall has to keep a diary of his temperature and record any side effects, general or on the site of the injection, in an app, which he updates every day.

He said the trial would last six months.

The Novavax vaccine is one of four being trialled across Australia, and one of 120 under development around the world.

Dr Hall said he was "really impressed" with the technology being used in the vaccine.


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