Actress Laly Goyzueta coincidentally became the last volunteer of the clinical trial carried out by Sinopharm looking for the coronavirus vaccine. Since then she has been a participant in research and has become a spokesperson for science through social networks.
Days after receiving the second dose of the substance, the businesswoman also spoke with The Republic and spoke about his experience with health professionals and scientists; as well as the regrowth of the disease that has occurred during the first days of 2021.
Naturally, it’s a bit scary that they’ll try something on your body. How did you decide to be part of the Sinopharm clinical trial and what motivated you?
I saw posts on social media about many people and artists who were joining, such as Josefina Towsend and Jason Day, whom I follow on networks. I found it super brave of him. Then the last call for the trial was released and as it was mentioned that this would be the last group to participate, that day I investigated and was looking for information on the internet about the vaccine so that I also feel confident and that my family remains calm.
How was the registration process?
After I decided to volunteer, I went to the page and signed up. After several days they called me and I went. It’s been a little over three weeks since I had my first dose. They told me to go between 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, but when I arrived I almost fainted, there were many people. Unfortunately they filled the quotas before my turn.
My husband had to pick me up, we had arranged for that. But we didn’t know that the spots were going to run out, so I kept waiting and reading a book so I could distract myself until he arrived.
A good time passed, everyone had already left, and a doctor just came out and told me: “Ma’am, do you still want to get the vaccine? Because there is a person who does not meet all the requirements and we need someone to close the study today ”. So that dose was meant for me.
How was it for you to know that with your help they managed to complete one of the most important stages of the trial?
It was exciting, because in the end they rang like a bell to communicate that the goal of finding all the volunteers and administering the substance was achieved. Everyone clapped and so did I. To tell you that I have spoken with the entire staff, with the entire team and they told me that it has been exhausting, weekend after weekend.
How did your family react when they heard about your decision?
My son was a little scared and wondered why I should volunteer for the rehearsal. So I said: “because if you don’t do it, who is going to do it?” I don’t have to wait for someone else to do it and I hope that one day they will be proud of me for helping science with a tiny grain of sand.
Did you have special care after they gave you the first dose?
They recommend that you do not make any effort, but I started doing my normal things and my arm hurt a little. A little headache, I felt a little feverish, but nothing to stop you from doing your activities.
The next day I did feel tired, sleepy. There I called my monitor Alison, who is the person who examines everything we are feeling.
So they are rigorous with the control of the volunteers.
Yes, what for. My monitor is incredible. Within the page they have they give you two options, indicate if you feel good or bad. In case you indicate that you are having some discomfort, they will call you. I have not felt discomfort to say that I feel bad, but we still have access to being able to communicate with the staff 24 hours a day.
Much has been said on social media about the efficacy of the vaccine, its provenance, and many people have indicated that they do not intend to access it. What do you think about those comments?
It seems to me that people should stop being prejudiced about these things. You have to see that the effectiveness is good, it is known that many vaccines that are used today do not exceed 60% effectiveness. You have to inform yourself.
I have told my case because it was very exciting for me to be the last in the study. I think that the volunteers should ask us about our experience, that would clear many doubts and stigmas as well.
It hurts a lot, to be honest. I even participated in a Zoom meeting where the volunteers were branded ‘dumb’. I found it very selfish and mean.
Also because at the end of the day they are offering their health.
Exactly, it is something that should be done for the benefit of all. I am not a specialist in science, but being close to this study I am learning a lot and according to what the experts have told me, it is very important that the data of this research is obtained here in Peru. In this way you can have information about the vaccine in relation to the particular genetics of the Peruvian. That gives you some certainty.
In addition, this vaccine (Sinopharm) like the AstraZeneca have a logistics that does not require a refrigeration of -70 degrees (° C) and guarantees that this substance can reach not only Lima, but also different parts of Peru. We want the vaccine for everyone, Lima is not Peru.
Because the coronavirus has affected everyone in one way or another.
Yes, I have lost my uncle to COVID-19. I have had my aunt, cousin and uncle sick and I know firsthand what it is to live this disease as a family. I don’t want any Peruvian family to go through this if it can be avoided in some way. I do not understand people who say that the coronavirus does not exist, if people are dying.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
With my husband we have a healthy snack business (Muffit) and of course, you have to go out to buy supplies, distribute. We have to do these things, but with responsibility. Thank God we started before the pandemic, because we had several things such as the health registry and other things. But it is not the case for everyone, there are people who have to go out to find a living. It has not been easy for anyone, we have to learn to live.
In recent days there has been an increase in coronavirus cases, after the end of the year celebrations. You, as a volunteer, what do you think about unnecessary exposure to the disease?
Everyone already seems to have relaxed, understandably, but we can’t throw in the towel. I only ask that you investigate, that you search, that you do not get carried away by the people who want to alarm, by the people who want to make politics of the pandemic. I get vaccinated first for my family, for my country and for science, that’s why I’m there.
Trust the Peruvian scientists and doctors, they are doing very well. I just want my whole country to have the vaccine and that is why this work that the volunteers are doing is worth it.
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