PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Thirty-thousand people participated in the clinical trial to test Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, and many were here in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Pearson, 58 of Philadelphia, says participating in pandemic research is personal for him. He lost a cousin due to complications of COVID-19.
When he found out about the Moderna clinical trial at Penn, he signed up because he wanted to make sure minorities were included.
"Like many African Americans, our experience with health care hasn't always been positive," he said. "However, we shouldn't allow that to stop us from taking advantage of the best science available to answer the COVID-19 crisis."
General Gus Perna, of Operation Warp Speed, has called clinical trial volunteers "true American heroes."
"I don't consider myself a hero, I consider myself an active participant in my community," Pearson said.
Pearson says he will opt to find out if he received a vaccine or placebo.
If it was placebo, he says he will opt to get the vaccine as soon as he can, if authorized by the FDA.