By Beth Germano

BOSTON (CBS) – On a scale of 1-to-10, Dennis Palazzo says his nerves were a 10 when he volunteered to participate in Moderna’s COVID vaccine trial.

“It’s a sad thing we need some kind of normalcy. Unless there’s a vaccine, there’s not going to be any normalcy,” said Palazzo.

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He’s close to the issue as the health inspector for the town of Danvers, checking area restaurants, but also these days calling himself the “mask police” and fielding complaints.

His nerves, he says, outweighed the side effects he expected from two shots, but they were mild.

“The second shot, I did have a mild headache for two nights and fatigue the next day but it went away,” Palazzo said.

The reactions to the vaccine have varied among participants. Yasir Batalvi, a recent college graduate from Boston, says the first shot he received caused localized stiffness, much like a flu shot. But with the second shot, he says the side effects were worse.

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“That evening was rough. I had a low grade fever, and fatigue and chills and all the stuff associated with that. So I was out for a day,” Batalvi said.

Batalvi and Palazzo are now monitored for two years with regular checkups to make sure there are no further effects from the vaccine.

For Palazzo, his participation was also personal after losing an uncle and a cousin to the virus. He’s now urging people to get vaccinated when it becomes available.

“A lot of people think it’s a hoax and make it political,” Palazzo said. “It’s not, this is real and people need to get on board with this.”

He says without willing volunteers like himself, there won’t be a vaccine to find an end to the pandemic.

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Moderna has applied for emergency FDA approval for its vaccine, which the company announced has shown to be about 94 percent effective.

Beth Germano