Ezequiel Martín, a 46-year-old telecommunications engineer from Malaga, is one of the volunteers taking part in the clinical trial carried out by Oxford University in conjunction with AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company to produce a vaccine against coronavirus.
Since 2009, Ezequiel has been living in London, where he works as a computer engineer. He told us what made him decide to be given the vaccine in this experimental stage.
"I want all this to be over as soon as possible, and when I saw that they were going to do testing in London I decided to do my bit and volunteer," he says.
When he made that decision, Ezequiel Martín firmly believed that the benefit of the vaccine must be far greater than any possible side effects.
"As I see it, the virus is just going round and round. It isn't going away. I'm very interested in helping in any way that stops the pandemic. This seemed a good opportunity to get involved and try to put an end to it as quickly as possible," he says.
Although he is aware that any vaccine can have adverse side effects, in the current circumstances he says the risk seems worth it. "The possible benefits outweigh the risks involved in taking part in the Oxford clinical test as a volunteer," he insists.
He was injected with the first dose of the vaccine in his shoulder in June and had no side effects: no fever or pain. Last Monday he was supposed to have had the second dose, but was told that the appointment was being cancelled and the testing stopped for a few days while they investigated the case of a volunteer in this phase of the trial who had suffered a transverse myelitis.
Some of those participating in the tests are injected with a vaccine against Covid-19 and the others (the so-called placebo group) are given an inoculation against meningitis. The side effects of the two vaccines are similar, so nobody knows which one they have been given, says Ezequiel, adding that when the test is over the scientists will also give the vaccine against coronavirus to those who had been inoculated against meningitis during the testing.
The Oxford tests began in June this year and are scheduled to continue until June 2021, although if there is sufficient information to be sure that the vaccine works before then they will tell the participants whether they are in the group which received the dose against coronavirus or the placebo.
"We are all keen for there to be progress and for this to start to work, so that they can start vaccinating the population as soon as possible," says this volunteer.