COVID Vaccine Trials Move at Warp Speed, But Recruiting Black Volunteers Takes Time
By Editor - Wed Sep 16, 3:22 am
Participation in clinical trials among Black people is low, according to Food and Drug Administration statistics . Still, including them in coronavirus vaccine trials has been a stated priority for the pharmaceutical companies involved, since African American communities, along with those of Latinos, have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic. The ongoing trials are moving at a pace that is unprecedented for medical research, with the Trump administration’s vaccine acceleration effort dubbed “ Operation Warp Speed .” Yet recruiting minority participants requires sensitivity to a mistrust borne of past and current medical mistreatment. Trust-building cannot be rushed. So far, participation by minority volunteers in coronavirus trials has increased only slightly compared with typically low levels for other clinical trials — and targeted outreach efforts to recruit more minorities have been slow to launch. Some of that outreach is taking place at historically black colleges and universities, which are trusted institutions for many Black Americans. At Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, researchers have set up in-person meetings with patients they already know.