Councilor Biden, Dr. Atul Gawande, is in the Moderna trial

Dr. Atul Gawande, a coronavirus adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, told CNBC on Wednesday that he participated in the study of the Covid-19 vaccine at Moderna.

“My mother, 84, said, ‘I want to give back,’ so she signed up for the trial. I said if my mother can do that, then I will sign up for a vaccination process,” Gawande on “Squawk Box. “

Moderna, Massachusetts, has become the company offering a trial nearby, said Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard University. He said he received the first blow in August and “felt almost nothing.” However, he said, it was a different story when he received the second dose in late September.

“Two days later, I had a fever, chills and needed to stay home,” said Gawande, who is also president of Haven, Amazon’s joint venture, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. “I haven’t had to take a day out of my surgery office or public health service for more than a year. I barely let anything down, but it knocked me down. Then about 24 hours more. late, I got back on my feet and I’m doing well. “

Gawande’s reflection on his experience comes as Americans outside of clinical trials are immunized against Covid-19 for the first time, starting last week with the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna this week. As of Monday morning, 614,117 doses have been administered, according to a tracker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gawande said he did not know if he had received the vaccine or was in the study’s placebo group. Although he suspects that the side effects he experienced come from the vaccine itself, he said it may be a psychological response to receiving the placebo. He added that his mother “barely had any reaction” to the photos she received in her clinical trial.

Vaccine side effects are not necessarily a cause for concern, Gawande said. “This is the immune system that arises and your antibodies are generated against the virus,” he said.

Gawande is part of a team of doctors and health experts who advise Biden on the coronavirus pandemic during the transition. On Monday, Biden was vaccinated on live television, hoping to encourage other Americans to be willing to take the shot. “There’s nothing to worry about. I’m looking forward to the second shot,” Biden said.

Biden said on Tuesday that Americans must remain vigilant about the coronavirus around the holidays, even if the vaccine has begun to be distributed. “Meanwhile, the pandemic is igniting. Experts believe it could worsen before it improves,” he said.

Gawande gave a similar perspective on Wednesday, saying that high levels of infection currently in the country will lead to more deaths due to Covid-19 in the coming weeks and months.

“We’re at 300,000 deaths. Already, the next 100,000 deaths are ripe, with new infections in the last week or so,” Gawande said. “It’s really possible to avoid the 500,000 deaths, which is really awful to think about.”