HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houstonian Jay Bostick and his family have always believed in giving back. So, when a friend mentioned that local researchers were looking for volunteers in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, he eagerly signed up.
"To be a part of history, and work toward a common goal to help eradicate something that's affecting millions of people around the world, it's not just exciting, it's almost like I feel like I have a social responsibility to do what I can do," he said.
Bostick, who came out as gay in the 1990's, is a married father with two sons.
He said part of the reason he feels so strongly about volunteering is the fact that the generation before him volunteered for clinical trials during the AIDS epidemic, allowing scientists to develop effective treatments that were very beneficial to his generation.
"I believe it's once a quarter I would go in for a full checkup and labs, blood work and all that. To check the progress, and I'll either be in the placebo group or the full vaccine trial, which is not a live virus."
So, what's involved? Bostick first signed up on Houstonfightscovid.com. From there, he went through several screening phone calls before being accepted into the program.
Bostick said he's expected to have his first lab work done next week. He has agreed to be monitored for two years by researchers.
The Texas Center For Drug Development (TCDD) is a private joint venture between two separate clinics.
The company is currently recruiting volunteers for the clinical trial.
At the time Bostick applied, he was not aware it was specifically the vaccine being developed by Moderna. Just today, Moderna's CEO said in a conference call with reporters that the initial results show promise.
"We're very excited about it," said Dr. Vicki Miller, a physician involved in the TCDD research. "We think there will be several vaccines approved by early next year." Miller does say the speed of the vaccine trials is unusually fast, but adds there are medical professionals all over the world racing to find a solution to saving lives.
As for Bostick, he points to the fact that he is not a first responder nor a medical worker. This is his way of contributing to finding a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Being part of a trial that would help a group of people who would hopefully not have this last several years," said Bostic. "This is something I could do specifically to contribute to a movement to eradicate this disease."