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Only 10% of the 350,000 people who recently signed up for a coronavirus vaccine clinical trial are Black and Hispanic, according to CNN. This low number of participants is especially concerning given the disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 in these communities.
“Ideally, study subjects in clinical trials would reflect the population most impacted by the disease,” said American Physiological Society (APS) Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair Karla Haack, PhD. “However, a history of medical malpractice and unethical experimentation on communities of color coupled with systemic barriers to enrolling Black and Hispanic people in these trials stand in the way of achieving equitable and life-saving outcomes in affected communities.”
As an expert in cardiovascular physiology and acute respiratory distress syndrome—a common and often deadly complication of COVID-19—and health disparities, and as Black woman in science, Haack is uniquely qualified to comment on issues including: