By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT)– As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, so does hope in a new vaccine. Clinical trials are taking place throughout the country, including in Ann Arbor at Michigan Medicine. The doctors and researchers are crucial to a successful vaccine trial, but so are those who rolls up their sleeves and volunteer for this cause.

“Went through the intake the consent process and received either a placebo or the real deal, I’m not sure yet.” Said Dr. Matt Wixson, Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan Medicine

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One thing Doctor Wixson was sure about was signing up for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine study when it was announced at Michigan Medicine. Being a physician at the hospital and working on the frontlines with COVID patients, he says he felt a responsibility to volunteer.

“Back when we were at peak pandemic we had several airways teams stationed through the hospital 24/7 to respond to these patients in distress and to intubate them.”

Dr. Wixson says he also felt it was he duty as an African American to help find a vaccine for a virus that’s affected so many in his community.

“It’s undeniable, you can’t not see the data, when people of color are 4 and 5 times more likely to pass away from something.”

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Another participant in the study is 70 year old Margaret Higgins, who says she didn’t only sign up, because her son, who is also a physician did…but she knows first-hand the importance of finding a cure for a deadly disease is.

“I think I was 7 or 8 and he wasn’t even two when he was diagnosed.”

Margaret speaking about her younger brother who suffered with polio as a child.

“And was in the hospital for months and it was very hard.” Said Higgins

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Margaret and Dr. Wixson have both received their first of several injections of what may be the actual vaccine or placebo. Both are feeling great so far and looking forward to completing the 2 year study, and hopefully help to find the cure for a virus that’s affected millions worldwide.