Moderna Vaccine Trial Hindered Without Enough Black, Latino Participants
Reuters reports that private contractors hired by Moderna have so far failed to recruit enough Black, Latino and Native American volunteers in clinical trials. Hesitancy among minority communities about participating in medical trials is rooted on past experiences.
Exclusive: Moderna Vaccine Trial Contractors Fail To Enroll Enough Minorities, Prompting Slowdown
Private contractors hired by Moderna Inc to recruit volunteers for its coronavirus vaccine trial failed to enroll enough Black, Latino and Native American participants to determine how well the vaccine works in these populations, company executives and vaccine researchers told Reuters. To make up for the shortfall, Moderna slowed enrollment of its late-stage trial and instructed research centers to focus on increasing participation among minority volunteers, the company said. The effort is being bolstered by academic researchers who have longstanding relationships with organizations in Black and other minority communities. (Steenhuysen, 10/6)
The New York Times:
'I Won't Be Used As A Guinea Pig For White People'
The recruiters strode to the front of the room, wearing neon-yellow vests and resolute expressions. But to the handful of tenants overwhelmed by unemployment and gang violence in Northview Heights, the pitch verged on the ludicrous. Would you like to volunteer for a clinical trial to test a coronavirus vaccine? On this swampy-hot afternoon, the temperature of the room was wintry. “I won’t be used as a guinea pig for white people,” one tenant in the predominantly Black public housing complex declared. (Hoffman, 10/7)
Can A Recruiter For A Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Overcome Distrust?
Whenever his mother told him about her newfound mistrust of vaccines, Jorge David Gutierrez saw it as a kind of cognitive dissonance. She was proud of him, the first person in their family to graduate from college — Brown University, no less, in neuroscience. He was applying to medical school. Here he was, in the meantime, working on a clinical trial for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She valued the work he did. Yet friends also sent her posts on social media. She trusted her friends, so she trusted what they sent. It frustrated him. (Boodman, 10/7)
In other vaccine development news —
AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Hold Leaves U.S. Participants In Limbo
For the 20-something-year-old Hispanic man, volunteering for AstraZeneca’s Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine study was an easy decision. His father, after all, had been briefly hospitalized with Covid-19, and, even beyond that personal motivation, signing up was “the right thing to do,” he told STAT. The clinical trial participant, who lives in the western U.S., got his first shot in early September — he doesn’t know if he got the actual vaccine or a saline placebo, in line with the study’s double-blinded design — and he had been expecting to get a booster shot about four weeks later. (Robbins, 10/6)
And from the states —
Distrusting Trump, States Plan To Vet COVID Vaccines Themselves. Bad Idea, Say Experts.
As trust in the Food and Drug Administration wavers, several states have vowed to conduct independent reviews of any COVID-19 vaccine the federal agency authorizes. But top health experts say such vetting may be misguided, even if it reflects a well-founded lack of confidence in the Trump administration — especially now that the FDA has held firm with rules that make a risky preelection vaccine release highly unlikely. (Aleccia and Szabo, 10/7)
CA Experts To Review Federal Work Before OK’ing Coronavirus Vaccine
California Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly announced the much-anticipated county coronavirus reopening update on Tuesday. He said less than 20 counties were now in the most restrictive tier. But the bigger news from his briefing might be the revelation that the state is “deep in the planning process for a potential late fall/early winter rollout of the vaccine.” “We want to be ready,” said Ghaly, “for when we’ve determined that it is safe, when it is available in sufficient quantity for California that we will put it out there.” (Tapp, 10/6)
Oklahoma Could Be First In Country To Get Coronavirus Vaccine
During a State Health Department meeting today, Health Commissioner Lance Frye gave an update on vaccine development. "We'll get our vaccine plan finalized this week," Commissioner Frye said. According to Frye, state health officials met with the CDC just a few days ago. "They told us that we'll probably be the first state in the nation to go green with their vaccination plan," Commissioner Frye said. "We're very close to finishing that up." (Wilson, 10/6)