Well-known restaurant owner discusses experience in Moderna vaccine trial


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — He’s well known to many in Nashville, a fixture in the restaurant and hospitality scene for more than four decades. Randy Rayburn, owner of both Midtown Café and Cabana, experienced first-hand the effects COVID-19 had on business owners in the area.

“We’ve seen 100,000 restaurants close in the United States, dozens and dozens in Nashville, and more to come. The new normal is trying to break even,” said Rayburn.

Looking for a way to help, Rayburn discovered Vanderbilt was part of the Moderna vaccine phase three trial.

“I needed to take a calculated risk to do my part as a citizen, and as a member of our community, but also really for my family,” said Rayburn.

Since joining, Rayburn has been given two shots and is unaware if he received the vaccine or placebo.

“After the initial shot,” Rayburn explained, “I had some cold chills and fever. 48 days later, I received the second vaccine shot, which was now a month ago. I was told the reaction would probably be stronger, and they were correct.”

Rayburn will have his blood drawn regularly and will use an app to track his health for two years.

“When you heard the news that the vaccine seems to be 94.5 percent effective at this point, how did that make you feel?” News 2 asked.

“We’re part of world-class healthcare right here in Music City. The short term says [the vaccine] is a real winner and success and something that can be stored in a normal refrigerator,” said Rayburn.

Promising news born out of what Rayburn refers to as a simple act for the betterment of the community.

“The reality is, it wasn’t that bad and definitely worth going for. My concern is not enough people will take the vaccine, and we’ll never reach herd immunity in the country if people are scared to participate in the process. This isn’t going to go away without people stepping in and taking some personal and social responsibility,” said Rayburn.

If you would like to learn more about ongoing COVID-19 trials, click here.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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