Dawn Baker was a “little bit nervous” but “really excited” on Monday when she made history.
That morning, Baker, a news anchor at CNN affiliate WTOC in Savannah, Georgia, became the first volunteer to receive an injection in the first Phase 3 clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States.
The many lives lost and impacted by the coronavirus pandemic inspired Baker to volunteer.
“This is really, to me, very empowering that I could be that person who could help save some lives. It’s been very heartbreaking to hear about people who’ve lost their lives because of this,” Baker told CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen at the Meridian Clinical Research site in Savannah on Monday.
According to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases in the United States, there are more than 4.2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 146,935 people have died.
“I never thought that I’d do something like this,” Baker said. “I just hope that they’re really, really good results. I know a lot of people are doing a lot of different vaccine trials.”
The race for a Covid-19 vaccine continues around the world. Globally, at least 25 Covid-19 vaccine candidates are being tested in people, according to the World Health Organization. Five of those are in Phase 3 trials, the most advanced stage of testing before a vaccine goes to market.
The investigational Covid-19 vaccine being tested in the Phase 3 trial in the United States was developed by the biotechnology company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial is to be conducted at 89 US research sites, according to the NIAID.