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People of color are underrepresented in US vaccine trials, study finds

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 46.8%. 2 min read.

People of color have been vastly underrepresented in US-based vaccine trials for the last decade, according to a new study released Friday by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Harvard, Emory and other institutions.

(CNN)People of color have been vastly underrepresented in US-based vaccine trials for the last decade, according to a new study released Friday by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Harvard, Emory and other institutions.

The study, which examined data from 230 vaccine trials with nearly 220,00 participants, found that White people made up the majority, or 78%, of participants in trials conducted between June 2011 and June 2020.

Researchers who led the study are now advocating for increased diversity in vaccine trials saying it will help address vaccine hesitancy, counter safety concerns and educate communities of color.

"This collaborative work highlights a problem that's plagued the scientific community for too long — inadequate representation in clinical trials," said Dr. Steve Pergam, an associate professor in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN last year that he wanted to see people of color enrolled in Covid-19 vaccine trials at double their percentage of the population because their communities were hit hard by the pandemic.

But last summer, researchers said they were struggling to recruit people of color for Covid-19 vaccine trials.

Black leaders say many Black Americans refused to sign up for trials because they don't want be "guinea pigs" for vaccine trials because of the nation's history of racism in medical research.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is now working to address the broader issue of vaccine trial disparities by setting up a committee dedicated to including more women and people of color as participants, according to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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