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Moderna launches phase 3 vaccine trial at 89 sites across the country

More than 78K virus cases confirmed in Michigan

DETROIT – Monday marked the start of a critical week for vaccine developers as phase three human trials begin or expanded for some of the most promising vaccines.

One of those is known as the Moderna vaccine. It was developed along with the National Institutes of Health as part of “operation warp speed.”

In addition to studying safety, this phase will try and determine whether the vaccine truly protects people against the virus.

Dawn Baker was the first phase three volunteer to receive the Moderna vaccine Monday morning in Savannah, Georgia.

She’s one of 30,000 Americans expected to take part in the trial at 89 locations across the country.

Half will receive two shots of the vaccine, 28 days apart. The other half will receive two shots of a saltwater placebo.

Neither the participants or the medical staff giving the injections will know who is getting the real vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine is a messenger RNA vaccine.

It is essentially a template that will instruct the body to make some of those very distinctive protein spikes we see on the outside of the coronavirus.

Researchers believe those spikes will trigger the immune system to start making antibodies which would then fight the actual virus if the patient was exposed.

In the earlier trials, more than half of the participants experienced mild or moderate side effects including fatigue, chills, headache, muscle aches, and pain where the shot was given.

Henry Ford Hospital will be a part of the clinical trial -- learn more here.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 78,507 as of Monday, including 6,154 deaths, state officials report.

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