BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The University of Maryland School of Medicine was one of the first in the world to start vaccine trials for COVID-19.

The institution says those tests were so promising, researchers are now able to move on to the next phase.

Researchers have been watching how the human body reacts to a vaccine which was designed to beat COVID-19.

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According to doctors, the preliminary results appear to show that the vaccine did it’s job at boosting antibodies.

“We have shown that there are measurable neutralizing antibodies and that is a very good sign that the vaccine will probably be to directly fight SARS CoV-2 virus,” said Dr. Kirsten Lyke with the school’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health.

“I have experienced no side effect,” said Cynthia Sikorski who participated in the trial. “I am very proud to be affiliated with this study. I’m proud that I have had this opportunity and that I am blessed with good health and the ability to participate.”

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

In just a matter of days, researchers say they’ll be able to expand the trials to Phase 3, with up to 30,000 people across the United States.

If the vaccine continues to show success, the next step will be approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the general public.

“There are people who are not comfortable taking a vaccine. What would you tell them?” WJZ’s Ava-joye Burnett asked.

“I would say that number one, we are making sure that things are safe. Number two, without a vaccine, you’re really taking your chances in terms of being exposed to the COVID-19,” said Dr. Lyke.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine says it’s important that a diverse group of people sign up for this next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine study.

If people of different ages and ethnic backgrounds participate, they’ll be able to get a better understanding of how the vaccine affects a large cross section of the population.

If you’re interested in participating, visit www.cvdtrials.org or text 555888.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Ava-joye Burnett

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