As mellow music filled the evening air Mikayla Lay sat in Little Italy’s Piazza De La Famiglia. Her enthusiasm about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial bubbled over like the waterfall behind her.
“I was very excited,” Lay said. “I mean, this is the news we’ve been waiting for."
Reminders of pandemic restrictions surround the piazza, from curbside distance dining to mask-wearing patrons like Paul Packer.
“You can’t play it safe enough. The only place you can truly be without one is at home," Packer said through his mask.
Though Packer, like others, is ready to ditch his masks, he said he plans to play it safe and keep limiting his outdoor excursions even when a vaccine is first released.
“We have a long road to acclimate and getting it and distributing it," Packer said.
“I think it’s a positive sign for handling the pandemic in general,” said Mike Beckles. “It makes me more comfortable, potentially in the future. But not comfortable enough to start going out regularly, immediately."
So when a vaccine does get released to the public, will San Diegans get it or will they wait?
Beth Van Voxtel said it might be “too soon to know if it’s effective.”
She’s worried about side effects and whether enough trials have been done.
John Thomas was hesitant at first.
“If it’s 30% I might just hold off," he said.
But when he learned the vaccine might be 90% effective he exclaimed, “Yea, man! Yea!”
Considering Pfizer's news, Thomas, who is 65 with an underlying health condition, said he'd get it.
Lay is one of the people who want to hold off, but plans to get it to protect friends and loved ones.
Though she joked she might decide to get one sooner with an incentive.
“What might change is when they open live music. I will be there. I’ll be there with a vaccine for sure," she laughed.
Pfizer said it could apply for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA as soon as next week.