Push is being issued to test COVID-19 vaccines in different groups


TAKOMA PARK, Md. (AP) – In front of tomato and chili baskets, near a whirling grillo grill, “promoters” want to stop masked shoppers in a busy Latino farmers market? Want to test a COVID-19 vaccine?

Aided by Spanish-speaking “health promoters” and black pastors, an effort is underway around the US to recruit minorities to ensure the potential against the disease in a population most populated by the virus Vaccines should be tested..

Many thousands of volunteers from minority groups are required to undertake or to undertake massive clinical trials. Scientists say a diverse group of test subjects is important to determine if a vaccine is safe and effective for all and instill broad public confidence in shots once they become available.

Extended outreach by vaccine researchers and health officials is getting a late start in communities that, due to a history of scientific exploitation and racism, may be most reluctant to roll up their sleeves.

It just takes time to get the word out.

“I didn’t know anything about the vaccine yet”, said Ingrid Guerra, who signed it last week at a farmers’ market in Takoma Park, Marikoma, outside the country’s capital.

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Health promoters of CASA, a Hispanic advocacy group, described how the research process works and how a vaccine can help end the coronovirus epidemic.

“I’m not afraid,” Guerra decided. “I want to participate for myself, my family, my people.”

Researchers at the University of Maryland agreed to set up a temporary laboratory at CASA’s local community center so that those struggling financially would not have to travel to participate.

The hardest part, many experts say, is gaining confidence.

Dr. Francis said, “A white person at NIH might not be as effective at convincing someone from a minority community as to the kind of science they want to trust, as a doctor from their own community would do.” ” Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

The recruitment of African Americans in particular will be “a heavy, heavy lift”, Collins said, due to a legacy of mistrust following the infamous Tuskegee experiment when black men in Alabama were part of a study that has been going on since the 1930s. Was untreated for syphilis. In the 70s.

Some black doctors are also wrestling with doubt. Medical Director of South Miami Children’s Clinic, Dr. Tina Carroll-Scott described a “really, really hard” time, given the political impact that the Trump administration has focused on long-trusted health agencies like the Food and Drug Administration.

“Wonder if it’s going to affect the test and even the vaccine which I think are all legitimate concerns,” said Carroll-Scott, who eventually decided to recommend the study. “We know that blacks and Latino are suffering the brunt of this virus and, yes, we definitely need to make sure that this vaccine works for them.”

In America, Blacks, Latino, Native Americans and Asians are in danger Hospitalization and death from coronovirus. Together they make up about 40% of the US population, and a vaccine vaccine study matches those demographics, although health officials would like to see more and more.

As Modern Inc. Near its target of 30,000 study participants, some sites have slowed recruitment in recent weeks to increase minority enrollment, which now stands at 28%.

Pfizer Inc., which recently sought permission from the FDA to expand to 44,000 volunteers, says about a quarter of its American participants are from communities of color, more so when testing sites in Brazil and Argentina count. Both companies are having the most success in Hispanics recruitment.

“It is really important that this vaccine works for everyone, or if it is not, then we understand why,” University of Miami Dr. Said Susan Doblecki-Lewis, who is helping to test the modern vaccine. Researchers may need to compare different vaccines “and see how one population may fit better than another.”

The lack of diversity in research will have implications after any vaccine has been approved for widespread use. Even before the final test starts, a survey The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only 25% of African Americans and 37% of Hispanics have available vaccines, compared to 56% of whites.

“If and when we have the vaccine ready, if you don’t have the nomination of minorities, then people are going to say, ‘Why should I put a vaccine in myself?” Study site

Yet often, when Dr. of the Family Health Center of San Diego, Dr. When Christian Raymer tries to recruit, he is told: “How can you expect me to become a guinea pig time and time again when we have volunteered and not seen members of our community. Benefits of research?

Theresa Hagen of Miami Beach, Florida, hopes she is considering volunteering for other African Americans.

“I can be a part of history right here,” he said after enrolling in Miami University studies. The research “benefits not only African Americans but everyone in general.”

Researchers are set to recruit thousands more volunteers over the next two months, as the shots by Johnson & Johnson and Novavax enter the final trial and a stalled study from AstraZeneca is expected to resume in the US

NIH launched a program this week From $ 12 million to better inform minority populations about vaccine studies – and other COVID-19 information – and to help build “community engagement” teams in 11 particularly hard-hit states was awarded.

And Rev. of the Metropolitan Interdinomination Church in Nashville, as part of NIH’s COVID-19 Prevention Network. Edwin Sanders II is leading a separate national project for “faith ambassadors” and pastors to extract misinformation about vaccines and research.

“We’re not trying to twist anyone’s hand,” said Sanders, who has spent decades working with AIDS researchers to increase black participation in HIV vaccine and treatment studies.

People will have appropriate questions and fears, he said. The key is bringing them to respectful, open dialogue with scientists and trusted community leaders.

“We’re trying to change consciousness and change mindset,” Sanders said. “It’s not a quick fix.”

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Niergaard reported from Alexandria, Virginia. Associated Press video journalist Cody Jackson in Miami contributed to this report.

The Associated Press Department of Health and Sciences has support from the Science Education Department of Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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