FOX 5 chats with one of the 1st people in the US to trial a COVID-19 vaccine

As the number of COVID-19 cases grows, there was a big update Monday on the effort to develop a vaccine here in the United States.

A clinical trial is now underway and FOX 5’s Lauren DeMarco spoke exclusively to one of the people participating.

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Not even two weeks ago in Seattle, Zach Wurtz says he saw a friend post on Facebook that there was a call out for volunteers to participate in the human trial for a vaccine.  

He signed up and passed the screening process. He is now meeting with dozens of doctors. 

The 36-year-old tells FOX 5, “Obviously there was a little bit of payment to it and so that was what made me stop scrolling when I saw that and read through it, but once I got a little education and realized what it was for I was gung ho. I think we really need to help and if this is the way I can help I really want to help.”

FILE - Clinical support technician Douglas Condie extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure of a virus can be analysed and identified in the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, on Feb. 19, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Wurtz says for now he has to meet with doctors every few days but that should begin to slow down in the weeks and months ahead. 

He’s one of the 45 brave people between the ages of 18 and 55 participating in this trial.

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At the White House press briefing Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the Phase 1 study was launched in record speed.

The National Institutes of Health is working with Moderna Inc. to develop a vaccine using the genetic sequence of the virus. It’s taking place at a Kaiser Permanente facility in Seattle, where the city has seen a spike in cases.