Researchers say not enough minorities participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials

Thursday, August 20, 2020
Researchers looking for more diverse vaccine trial volunteers
Out of the 350,000 people registered online for a COVID-19 clinical trial, only 10 percent are Black or Latinx. Here's why researchers are looking for a more diverse group of volunteers.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The race to get a COVID-19 vaccine is well on its way, but researchers said they need a more diverse set of trial volunteers.

So far, there are around 350,000 people registered online for a COVID-19 clinical trial but only 10 percent are Black or Latinx. Scientists are worried the disparity could delay a drug from getting to the marketplace.

Experts say misinformation about vaccines and distrust of the government and the medical community is partly to blame.

SEE ALSO: Baylor College of Medicine doctors move forward with vaccine candidates

"This is a big concern to me as we've been talking about this for the last few months, underrepresented minority populations are getting hit very hard by this virus," said Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. "I think part of it is lack of access to healthcare information in low income communities, and I think that's probably a component. You also have that problem that big anti-vaccine groups have been specifically targeting African-American populations."

SEE ALSO: Experts concerned COVID-19 vaccine may not be as effective for obese people

The government's effort to develop a vaccine is called "Operation Warp Speed." It aims to distribute 300 million doses by January, which would be a record for any vaccine in history.

Follow Raven Ambers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.