Covid-19 vaccine would only work if blacks participate in human trials – Experts

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Experts have said that clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine must involve the participation of African Americans

The medical officials argued that such participation is important because drugs sometimes have different results across races

It should be noted that a quarter of those who died due to coronavirus in the United States are blacks

NBC News reports that Calethia Hodges, the doctor that will be conducting clinical trials of experimental drugs in the bid to find a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus, has the task of persuading black people to partake in the process.

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The media notes that though African Americans have been really affected by the virus, they are not well represented in human studies that are aimed at treating the disease.

Almost a quarter of the more than 116,000 lives lost to Covid-19 are blacks, according to a study called Color of Coronavirus by APM Research Lab.

Hodges said to convince more blacks to participate in the study, she is in a neighbourhood that is predominantly occupied by African Americans.

Experts have also said that getting blacks to participate in the trial is very important as researches of pharmacogenetics emphasized that the result of medicine could be different based on race, socioeconomic, and environmental dynamics.

READ ALSO:China races to find coronavirus vaccine

It should be noted that pharmacogenetics is the science that genetic issues affect how people react to drugs.

“The reasons I hear African Americans will not participate are heartbreaking and disappointing. I have heard about the Tuskegee experiment a lot. And I have heard ‘They [doctors] will give me the virus.’ And ‘They will put a chip inside me. Many say their parents raised them ‘to never participate in medical research.’ It’s all tough to overcome,” she said.

A medical expert, Larry Graham, is of the opinion that blacks have to get over their mistrust of human trials and participate.

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Aletha Maybank, the American Medical Association’s chief equity officer, said he is amazed that there is no sense of urgency by institutions to make African Americans involved in vaccine trials.

Hodges added that as a way to convince her patients to partake in clinical trials, she always tells them they have a chance to take a drug that would not only help them but could be very essential to generations to come.

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