Covid-19 vaccine research must involve Black and Latinx participants. Here are 4 ways to make that happen

By Kathryn Stephenson and Bisola Ojikutu, STAT

The development of a Covid-19 vaccine is progressing at an incredible pace, breaking down barriers to the invention, manufacture, and testing of potential vaccine candidates. The Department of Health and Human Services says it aims to have “substantial quantities of a safe and effective vaccine available for Americans by January 2021.”

To achieve this goal, each of the five leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates will need to be tested in approximately 30,000 people — a total of 150,000 research participants in the next six months. This will be a massive and unprecedented undertaking.

Equally unprecedented is the opportunity that Covid-19 vaccine development presents to break down barriers to the engagement of Black and Latinx individuals in clinical trials research. Ideally, vaccine trials should include participants from communities that have the highest risk of infection. In the case of Covid-19, those at-risk communities are disproportionately Black and Latinx. To match local demographics of Covid-19, Black or Latinx individuals would need to comprise up to 40% of vaccine trial participants nationwide. Read more …