Human trials for 3rd phase of COVID-19 vaccine begin today

Beginning Wednesday, the first batch of Michigan citizens will receive their first dose of a potential vaccine that has shown promise in fending off COVID-19.

The trial medicine, now in its third phase after revealing to be harmless to humans and strong enough to kill the virus, will now be injected into 5,000 state citizens and 30,000 people across the country. 

While the human trials are taking place in 90 different health systems, the only one taking place in Michigan is at Henry Ford Health.

"This is a historic time for us. With millions of infections worldwide, hundreds of thousands of deaths, to be in a position where we now have a vaccine where we can begin to look at and hopefully get approved in the near future is an extremely important time for us and we're very excited to be part of this very groundbreaking project," said Dr. Marcus Zervos, the chief of infectious disease at the hospital.

The promising drug, identified as Moderna mRNA-1273, will be administered to half of the participants, while the other half will receive a placebo. Called a double-blind study, it will take two shots, five appointments, and at least two years of checkups. 

After the time of injection, the participants will be closely monitored for symptoms and will be tested to see if they produce antibodies needed for protection against the virus. 

RELATED: Henry Ford Health Systems is now testing vaccines for COVID-19. Here's how to sign up

"I'm just really excited to try and help find answers. I think we're all just so desperate for this nightmare to end, I know that I am and I just think that a vaccine is the only way we're going to be able to move forward so I'm excited to be apart of it," said one 24-year-old from Taylor.

While many vaccines often include injecting a small portion of a targeted virus into the body, the Moderna trial actually carries a genetic code that will instruct cells on how to make protein. That protein is believed to help the body's immune system build antibodies to protect against the virus.

Learn more about the vaccine trials here.