Researchers and companies developing Covid-19 vaccines are taking new steps to tackle a longtime challenge: Those who need the vaccines most urgently, including Black and Latino people, are least likely to participate in clinical trials to determine whether they work safely.
Racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to be hospitalized and die from the new coronavirus, partly due to socioeconomic factors and underlying health conditions, data show. But clinical trials to evaluate drugs and vaccines historically underrepresent minorities, and researchers are concerned enrollment now under way to test Covid-19 vaccines will be no different.
While thousands of Americans have shown interest in testing vaccines, they are mostly young, white and healthy, according to researchers. Public-health officials say vaccines, to be effective, have to be proved to work safely across all age groups, races and ethnicities— and especially among those at high risk of contracting the virus.