Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial slowed; too few minority participants

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials have been slowed by lack of enough minority participants, The Hill reported.

A company under contract with the drugmaker didn't enroll enough Black, Latinx and Native American participants, and Moderna said it has slowed the enrollment process to address the problem. The drugmaker has directed its research centers to prioritize recruitment of minority volunteers, according to The Hill. 

As of Sept. 17, Black Americans made up 7 percent of Moderna's trial participants, though they make up 13 percent of the U.S. population. Moderna said it has boosted the number of Black participants in the last two weeks of September, but didn't give details, according to The Hill. 

Black Americans are infected with COVID-19 almost three times as often as white Americans, and they are twice as likely to die from the virus, according to The Hill. 

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the delays in enrollment won't prevent Moderna from requesting emergency use authorization for the vaccine and that the company could obtain the authorization to treat high-risk groups as early as November, The Hill reported. 

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