Leading Fayetteville doctor details research into Moderna vaccine on heels of FDA approval


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — We are getting the facts on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, from the doctor leading the Phase 3 Moderna trial in Fayetteville.

Dr. Judith Borger with Cape Fear Valley Health and Carolina Institute for Clinical Research is the principal investigator for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trial, and various COVID-19 treatment and prevention studies.

“I think it’s probably one of the most important things I’ve done in my life,” Borger said.

Borger got the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Friday.

“I think it’s an early Christmas gift to all of us,” Borger said. “It’s the hope for the new year, that 2021 is going to be a healthier year.”

Borger and her team have been working on the Moderna trial every day since May.

They were selected based on their success with past vaccine trials, and their ability to enroll a high number of diverse participants.

“It’s been a tremendous labor of really both love and a sense of duty to help do our part to end this pandemic.”

Part of Borger’s job is to help stop rumors circulating about the vaccines not being safe.

“We don’t put microchips in vaccines, they don’t change your DNA,” Borger said. “This is not political, this is really about the health and safety of everybody.”

The minimal side effects from either vaccine don’t compare with the effects of getting COVID, Borger says.

“The biggest questions I’ve gotten from a lot of people is if I have X-Y-Z should I get the vaccine, and the answer is yes,” Borger said. “The answer almost overwhelming is yes.”

There are currently 362 participants enrolled in the Moderna trial in Fayetteville.

“I feel proud of our team, I feel thankful that we got the opportunity to do this, and I feel thankful to all of our participants that made it possible,” Borger said.

Borger says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have a lot of similarities.

“The vaccines are remarkably similar, Borger said. “The vaccines work, it’s less important what company makes the vaccine, than that we have a vaccine.”

The Moderna vaccine has more flexible storage requirements.

The Moderna trial in Fayetteville will be ongoing for another two years to continue gathering data and determine how long the vaccine will last.

“We always want to make a vaccine better and better and as good as possible.”

Borger is also working on a study to help keep family members of COVID-19 patients from getting the virus.

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