We Need to Recruit More Black Americans in Vaccine Trials

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New York Times Opinion, Sept. 11, 2020

By Wayne A. I. Frederick, Valerie Montgomery Rice, David M. Carlisle and
James E. K. Hildreth
Wayne A. I. Frederick is the president of Howard University; Valerie Montgomery Rice is the president of Morehouse School of Medicine; David M. Carlisle is president of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; James E. K. Hildreth is president of Meharry Medical College.

Pharmaceutical companies and the government must step up their efforts to enroll a diverse group of volunteers.

The global race is on for a vaccine to combat the coronavirus, but the question is: Who will be included?

To date, several companies have reached Phase 3 trials for an experimental vaccine — including Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and CanSino. AstraZeneca recently announced a pause in its process to check a complication with one participant. Despite this setback, the early results are encouraging.

Yet these trials have not met an important challenge: recruiting an appropriately diverse group of participants — even though Covid- 19 has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of color and on Black Americans in particular.

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New York Times Opinion, Sept. 11, 2020

By Wayne A. I. Frederick, Valerie Montgomery Rice, David M. Carlisle and
James E. K. Hildreth
Wayne A. I. Frederick is the president of Howard University; Valerie Montgomery Rice is the president of Morehouse School of Medicine; David M. Carlisle is president of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; James E. K. Hildreth is president of Meharry Medical College.

Pharmaceutical companies and the government must step up their efforts to enroll a diverse group of volunteers.

The global race is on for a vaccine to combat the coronavirus, but the question is: Who will be included?

To date, several companies have reached Phase 3 trials for an experimental vaccine — including Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and CanSino. AstraZeneca recently announced a pause in its process to check a complication with one participant. Despite this setback, the early results are encouraging.

Yet these trials have not met an important challenge: recruiting an appropriately diverse group of participants — even though Covid- 19 has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of color and on Black Americans in particular.

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