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Group Encourages Black Participation in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

The COVID-19 Prevention Network, an organization formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, will host an event Thursday to urge African Americans to participate in vaccine trials.

The event, “COVID in Black,” will be an interactive discussion in which participants can communicate via Zoom and Facebook with African American doctors and experts, CNN reported.

While minority participation in vaccine trials has increased in the past month, the rate isn’t at the level public health leaders would like. The network has taken out advertisements to encourage people of color participation in the trials.

The online events will be held monthly, according to Stephaun Wallace, the network’s director of external relations, CNN reported.

During Thursday’s event, Wallace said the experts will share information about the current and planned trials urging Blacks to participate and to take the vaccine when it becomes available.

“Having conversations in communities about Black folks’ engagement in medicine establishments is really a part of this as well,” Wallace said, CNN reported.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the institute and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, says Black participation in vaccine trials should be at least 27 percent.

Black participation in drug company Moderna’s vaccine trials is at 13 percent as of the week of Sept. 14, while Pfizer’s U.S. trial participants consist of eight percent African Americans, CNN reported.

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