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FirstHealth Nurse, Mother Taking Part in Clinical Study Analyzing Breastmilk for COVID Antibodies 

| Date Posted: 2/3/2021

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Nurse Michelle Sakala wears plenty of hats – she’s a wife and mother of two who is among the thousands of FirstHealth health care heroes. 


Recently, Sakala added clinical trial participant to the list as she and her newest addition, Monroe, take part in a study to see if Sakala’s breastmilk has COVID-19 antibodies that may help protect her baby. Sakala, who has worked at FirstHealth for four years, signed up for the study right after she received the first of her two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. 


“The night I got vaccinated I began looking online for any study because I know the first round of trials wasn’t studied in breastfeeding or pregnant women,” she said. “I knew there had to be an open study somewhere. I applied to a few of them, and the University of Massachusetts was the first one to get back to me.”  


Sakala told WRAL News that she collects breastmilk in containers and sends samples of Monroe’s stool to UMass for analysis. Sakala said she hopes everyone will take the time to get vaccinated once they are eligible. She and her husband, an active-duty member of the military, have both been vaccinated against COVID-19.  


Click here to read WRAL’s story about Sakala’s participation in the trial.  

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