Pzifer's coronavirus vaccine could be ready to go by mid-December, and it can't come soon enough with cases on the rise. The federal government plans to send out more than six million doses to communities across the U.S. Spectrum News 1 Anchor, Lisa McRee spoke with a Calabasas father and daughter, Dan and Kearston Stepenosky, who were volunteers for the vaccine's trial.

What You Need To Know

  • Pzifer's coronavirus vaccine could be ready to go by mid-December

  • The federal government plans to send out more than six million doses to communities across the U.S.

  • Three months ago, Dan Stepenosky, a colon cancer survivor, volunteered to help test a vaccine being developed to stop the coronavirus’ spread

  • There are dozens of similar trials, in various stages, going on around the world

Dan says he chose to volunteer because he wants things to go back to normal.

"Someone's gotta do it, and we have got to resolve this. As a superintendent, I want the schools also open —5, 6, and 7-year-olds are not designed to learn from Zoom; they need to be in classrooms, socializing and with their teachers, so we need kids back on campus. We want our lives back," said Dan.

When Kearston learned that her father had volunteered for the trial vaccine, she thought it was a brave act because he is also a cancer survivor.

"He is someone who inspires me, and it was very courageous to leap into this experiment, given everything that he's been through. When he did have cancer, I learned a lot about what robotic surgery is, and that inspired me to be interested in medicine, which is also why I decided to be part of this trial to learn about what that process is like. So I think those two things just being super inspired by my dad and being able to take part in this process was a huge component of why I decided to be a part of this," said Kearston.

Even though Dan led the way when volunteering for the vaccine's trial, he was a bit nervous when Kearston signed up.

"Once I knew that 16 and 17-year-olds could volunteer, I hid the information for a week and then told my wife and Kearston. For 10 days straight, Kearston said she was all on and wanted to be part of the trial. After those 10 days, we let her participate," said Dan.

Dan had to do various medical screenings, a physical exam, and blood work before receiving the vaccine.

"Once I was authorized for the vaccine, I had to wait 30 minutes because the vaccine is stored at negative 70 celsius. So they need to warm the vaccine up, then they administer it and watch you for another 30 minutes," added Dan.

After receiving the vaccines, Kearston experienced flu-like symptoms, and Dan experienced mild symptoms.

"We have two theories in our family; one is that I'm tougher than Kearston and the other is that I got the placebo, and she got the vaccine. But we were told that researchers are going to unmask those in the trial that got the placebo and let them know if it's authorized for emergency use," said Dan.

Dan admits that volunteering was also a patriotic duty for him.

"We want to take care of each other; we want to do the best we can to keep family, friends, colleagues, and classmates safe. We want to lift each other and do what we can to keep each other safe through all this time—which is being part of the trial or getting a flu shot, or when the vaccine is ready and safe getting it and following the safety guidelines," added Dan.

Kearston says being able to play the guinea pig for science was very motivating to her.

"I have no regrets, it was worth it, and I can't wait for everyone to be able to get it," said Kearston.