Social Justice & Diversity

Covid Clinical Trials Aren’t Very Diverse and That’s a Problem

July 30, 2020, 11:00 AM

Black and Latino people have suffered far more from the novel coronavirus than other races, yet so far they account for only a small fraction of participants in human clinical trials of treatments and vaccines.

That may complicate defeating Covid-19 since drug responses can be influenced by factors tied to race and ethnicity, such as genetics. More than that, diversity in research is necessary to understand the biological underpinnings of diseases that, for example, make some people more susceptible or responsive to treatment.

“Diversity is critically important,” said John Beigel, an associate director for clinical research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has worked on...

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