US Covid-19 vaccine trials step up efforts to reach minorities
Poll: Number of Americans willing to get a vaccination falls as fears mount that Trump is putting politics before safety
Now, four months later, less than a third of Americans (32 percent) say they plan to get vaccinated, according to the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll — a stunning 23-point decline that reflects rising concern about the politicization of the vaccine process and underscores how challenging it will be to stop the pandemic through vaccination alone. As recently as late July, 42 percent of Americans had said they planned to get vaccinated, meaning 10 percent of the public has moved into the “no” or “not sure” column over the last month or so. © Provided by Yahoo! News The question is why.
TAKOMA PARK, Md. — In front of baskets of tomatoes and peppers, near a sizzling burrito grill, the “promotoras” stop masked shoppers at a busy Latino farmers market: Want to test a COVID-19 vaccine?
Aided by Spanish-speaking “health promoters” and Black pastors, a stepped-up effort is underway around the U.S. toto ensure potential against the scourge are tested in the populations most ravaged by .
Trump says CDC Director Robert Redfield 'confused' about coronavirus vaccine, mask efficacy. Redfield responded.
Donald Trump took issue with CDC director Robert Redfield's comments that face masks are more effective than a vaccine at stopping spread of COVID.Hurricane Sally power outages top 540,000 in Alabama, Florida and Georgia
Many thousands of volunteers from minority groups are needed forunderway or about to begin. Scientists say a diverse group of test subjects is vital to determining whether a vaccine is safe and effective for everyone and instilling broad public confidence in the shots once they become available.
The expanded outreach by vaccine researchers and health officials is getting a late start in communities that, because of a history of scientific exploitation and racism, may be the most reluctant to roll up their sleeves.
Data, data and more data is what will make a coronavirus vaccine safe, says USA TODAY's vaccine panel
USA TODAY's expert panel sees steady progress toward a safe and effective COVID vaccine, urge public's patience as trials proceed and data comes in.They know the country longs for normalcy, which only widespread use of a vaccine that makes the majority of Americans immune to COVID-19 can bring. But they remind us a viable vaccine can only come when there’s solid, verifiable and freely accessible research results showing it works and helps more than harms.
Just getting the word out takes time.
“I didn’t know anything about the vaccine until now,” said Ingrid Guerra, who signed up last week at the farmers market in Takoma Park, Maryland, outside the nation’s capital.
The health promoters from CASA, a Hispanic advocacy group, explained how the research process works and how a vaccine could help end the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m not afraid,” Guerra decided. “I want to participate for me, my family, my people.”
University of Maryland researchers agreed to set up a temporary lab at CASA’s local community center so that people struggling financially wouldn’t have to travel to participate.
The hardest part, many experts say, is gaining trust.
“A white guy from NIH is probably not going to be as effective by far in convincing somebody from a minority community that this is the kind of science they might want to trust, as would a doctor from their own community,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.
Recruiting African Americans in particular will be “a heavy, heavy lift,” Collins said, because of the legacy of mistrust after the infamous Tuskegee experiment, when Black men in Alabama were left untreated for syphilis as part of a study that ran from the 1930s into the ’70s.
Fauci says he will take responsibility if a coronavirus vaccine rolled out in the US is faulty
In comments to media outlets Thursday Fauci sought to reassure the public amid a dispute between Trump and the CDC over vaccines."Do you assure all of us that if the corners have been cut, if there is something sideways or wrong with the process, that you will tell us and take the heat for that?" MSNBC's Chris Hayes asked Fauci.
Some Black doctors, too, are wrestling with doubts. Dr. Tina Carroll-Scott, medical director of the South Miami Children’s Clinic, described a “really, really tough” time, considering thelike the Food and Drug Administration.
“Wondering whether that’s going to affect the trials and even the vaccine that comes out I think are all valid concerns,” said Carroll-Scott, who ultimately decided to recommend the studies. “We know that Blacks and Latinos are bearing the brunt of this virus and, yeah, we definitely need to make sure that this vaccine works for them.”
In the U.S., Black, Latino, Native Americans and Asians areof hospitalization and death from the coronavirus. Together they make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population, and an equitable vaccine study would match those demographics, though health officials would like to see even greater numbers.
As Moderna Inc. neared its goal of 30,000 study participants, some sites slowed recruitment in recent weeks to increase minority enrollment, now at about 28 percent.
Pfizer Inc., which recently asked the FDA for permission to expand to 44,000 volunteers, says about a quarter of its U.S. participants are from communities of color, more when counting trial sites in Brazil and Argentina. Both companies are having the most success in recruiting Hispanics.
“It’s really important that this vaccine work for everyone, or if it doesn’t, that we understand why,” said Dr. Susanne Doblecki-Lewis of the University of Miami, who is helping to test the Moderna vaccine. Researchers might need to compare the different vaccines “and see how one might better fit a population than another.”
Fact check: Doctors aren't pushing an 'untested' seasonal flu vaccine for the coronavirus
A widely shared Facebook post contains incorrect information about the seasonal flu vaccine, which does not include the novel coronavirus.Jarrett: Consequences will be paid if GOP seeks SCOTUS nomination
A lack of diversity in the research would have ripple effects once any vaccine is approved for widespread use. Even before final testing began, afrom The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found just 25 percent of African Americans and 37 percent of Hispanics would get a vaccine once it’s available, compared with 56 percent of whites.
“If and when we have a vaccine ready, if you didn’t have enrollment of minorities, then people are going to say, ‘Why should I put the vaccine in myself?’” said Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University, another study site.
Yet too often, when Dr. Christian Ramers of Family Health Centers of San Diego tries to recruit, he is told: “How can you possibly expect me to be a guinea pig when time and again we’ve volunteered our community members and not seen the benefits of the research?”
Theresa Hagen of Miami Beach, Florida, hopes she is a role model for other African Americans considering volunteering.
“I may be part of history right here,” she said after enrolling in the University of Miami’s study. The research “benefits not only African Americans but everyone in general.”
Researchers are gearing up to recruit thousands more volunteers over the next two months, as shots made by Johnson & Johnson and Novavax enter final testing and a paused study from AstraZeneca is expected to resume in the U.S.
Download thefor full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak
NIH this week began ato better inform minority populations about the vaccine studies — and other COVID-19 information — and awarded $12 million to help form “community engagement” teams in 11 especially hard-hit states.
And as part of the NIH’s COVID-19 Prevention Network, the Rev. Edwin Sanders II of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville is heading a separate national project for “faith ambassadors” and clergy to dispel misinformation about vaccines and research.
“We’re not trying to twist anybody’s arm,” said Sanders, who has spent decades working with AIDS researchers to increase Black participation in studies of HIV vaccines and treatments.
People will have reasonable questions and fears, he said. The key is bringing them together with scientists and trusted community leaders for respectful, open conversations.
“We’re trying to change consciousness and change mindset,” Sanders said. “It’s not a quick fix.”
Followon & .
Secret, powerful panels will pick Covid-19 vaccine winners. Can they be trusted? .
Data and safety monitoring boards work under a cloak of secrecy meant to prevent undue influence. In the Trump era, some worry the anonymity could actually invite it.Yet as the coronavirus pandemic drags on and the public eagerly awaits a vaccine, he may well be among the most powerful people in the country.