SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sitting at a doctor’s office or an urgent care room can be a little nerve-wracking sometimes, but today is different for Kelli Benedetti.

“In terms of getting a vaccine, no not nervous,” Benedetti, a vaccine trial participant, said.

She’s one of the first eight participants to join the Moderna phase three COVID-19 vaccine trial happening at Benchmark Research in Sacramento.

“Well, I wasn’t totally on board at first. But my husband is a doctor and he’s been seeing a lot of COVID patients lately,” Benedetti said. “And he said, ‘It’s inevitable I’ll bring it home so might as well contribute to research.”

The researchers doing the study couldn’t be more excited to get finally get things started.

“Huge day! Probably a day I’ll never forget; the day we started the trial. Hopefully, we can cross our fingers that it works,” Doctor Greg Hachigian, Principal Investigator for the Moderna Study, said.

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“It’s been a couple of stressful weeks to try to get it organized and get it up and going. But we are certainly very excited,” Nav Kooner, Site Director for Benchmark Research – Sacramento, said.

The trial will test at least 300 or more people locally and 30,000 people nationwide with either a placebo or the potential COVID-19 vaccine. The research will kick into high-gear in the event someone does contract the virus.

“We want to see how bad their symptoms are, do they end up in the hospital or is it a very minor infection,” Doctor Greg Hachigian, Principal Investigator for Moderna Study, said. “And we’re going to compare that to the placebo group, see how they did with the COVID infection. That’s how we are going to know if this vaccine really works.”

A long road filled with plenty of research and willingness of others to stop the spread.

“I’m very, very proud of anyone who comes in,” Hachigian said. “They’re heroes. The people coming in today are heroes.”

“I don’t see myself as like a hero or anything. But, I think that anything for science and to push knowledge forward – obviously my occupation is a scientist so that’s what I am all about – and I definitely think that this is important,” Benedetti said.

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The principal investigator for the study says this trial is beneficial in two ways. He told CBS13 the vaccine isn’t made from the COVID-19 pathogen so you can’t get the virus by being injected with this potential vaccine.

Secondly, Hachigian said since it’s being created in a lab the vaccine can be produced much quicker than a vaccine made from an egg protein.

The lab is confident it will recruit the 300-plus participants for the study. If you’re interested in taking part in the study, you can call 1-888-902-9605 for more information.