Minority groups needed for COVID-19 vaccine study

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As the push for a COVID-19 vaccine continues, there is a need for minority groups to participate in trial studies.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the Cornavirus Task Force, recently addressed the issue in an interview with CBS News.

“We’ve got to get a higher percentage of minorities into the clinical trial so that when we get the data, we can say that it applies equally,” Dr. Fauci said.

In Birmingham, Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital also needs a better representation of minorities to participate in the trial by Moderna.

“The African American minority communities are so disproportionately affected by this disease, but we are underrepresented in the trial and the studies,” James Story said.

Story, who is African-American, is also an associate at the hospital and enrolled in the study.

“You do receive a vaccine or a placebo and it is in an injection and then with this particular trial you get an app put on your phone in which you are able to monitor how you are feeling every day,” Story said.

After doing his research, Story felt comfortable participating in the research. He understands some people may be hesitant, but believes safety measures like institutional review boards go a long way.

“When I start talking about it everybody starts referring to the Tuskegee experiments and things in the past, and a lot of people have never learned that there have been measures put into place to keep these things from happening,” he said.

According to the Moderna website, an estimated 28.5% of participants are from diverse backgrounds.

With the country topping 200,000 deaths this week, Story hopes others will consider joining the study to be part of the research.

“My hope is that there is a vaccine that is released out to the medical community to use that is effective and I hope that there is a lot of information put out so that they can understand the safety behind taking the vaccine,” Story said.

If you’d like to learn more about participating in the trial, click here.


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