Volusia school board member finds out he received COVID-19 vaccine in trial run

Carl Persis wants to see teachers get the vaccine

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County School Board member Carl Persis found out on Sunday he received the COVID-19 vaccine as a participant in Moderna’s trial.

Persis said he was among the first group in the country vaccinated, having received both doses of the vaccine by September of this year.

When he heard about the Moderna trial, Persis said he wanted to help by participating.

He said he called in July to volunteer to participate and had his first official appointment in August.

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After four hours of questions and testing, Persis said health officials told him he had been accepted into the trial.

By the end of that first appointment, he said he was given his first dose.

But Persis said it was a blind trial, meaning that he didn’t know if the shots he received were the vaccine or placebos.

On Sunday, Persis said he was told that he had, in fact, received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m thrilled that I really got it and I’m thrilled that it didn’t affect my health any,” Persis said.

Persis said after months of feeling good following the vaccine, he’s encouraging others to get it, with one specific group in mind: teachers.

“We are around so many people in our school district all across this state, and teachers are fearful about getting the virus. So as soon as possible, we need to get all of our educators vaccinated,” Persis said.

In fact, as the vice chair of the Central Florida Public School Board Coalition, Persis said they’ve taken action, calling for teachers to be prioritized when it comes to vaccine distribution.

“Today, we just met with the K-12 Chancellor, Jacob Oliva, and we actually said that to him; that we really would wish that the state, that he would tell the governor that the teachers, educators, we need to be in this second wave,” Persis said.

Volusia County School Board member Reuben Colon said he has contacted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office, along with Oliva to ask for teachers to be prioritized for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Colon also said he has been in contact with the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County and has asked them to prioritize teachers over the age of 65, over their peers.


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