Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., announced Wednesday that he participated in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial — and has since tested positive for antibodies.
Daines said in a statement that he enrolled in the vaccine trial after getting a call from his mother about the company enrolling volunteers in his hometown in August. He said he and his wife later joined over a hundred Montanans in the blind trial — and later tested positive for antibodies.
“My goal is to help build confidence and trust for Montanans and the American people wondering if they should take the vaccine when it is approved,” he said in a statement. “This is about saving lives. This is about supporting our healthcare heroes. This is about protecting Montana jobs & workers and rebuilding our economy. This is about American exceptionalism and innovation. This is about restoring hope. This is about restoring normalcy into our way of life.”
Pfizer said Wednesday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate, which is being developed in conjunction with BioNTech, was found to be safe and 95% effective in elderly study participants, clearing the way for the companies to file for emergency use authorization from the FDA.
Pfizer said it was prepared to file for EUA “within days,” meaning the world could see its first-approved coronavirus vaccine sooner rather than later.
Daines said while he believes a vaccine is “key to getting back to normal,” he would not mandate it, but would encourage people to get it once approved.
“I trust Montanans to make the decision for themselves, use commonsense and practice personal responsibility. While we wait for a final vaccine approval, we must remain smart, protect the most vulnerable in our communities, and be responsible,” he said.
"I hope that my announcement today will encourage others to feel confident in participating in vaccine clinical trials being conducted across this country," Portman said in a statement. "I also hope it will reassure people about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines once they have gone through the trials and FDA approval process.”
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein and Evie Fordham contributed to this report.