Covid-19 Research Has a Diversity Problem
Data suggests that people of color are underrepresented in early Covid-19 research, writes Markham Heid for Elemental. As Heid reports, a Pew Research Center Covid-19 poll, published June 4, found that Black Americans are more hesitant to trust medical professionals and experimental treatments, and are also less likely to sign up for vaccine trials, than are members of some other racial or ethnic groups. There’s also evidence that researcher bias and structural barriers also work to keep people of color out of clinical research. This is a major problem, considering that Black Americans are approximately five times more likely than white people to die of Covid-19, and Hispanics are roughly four times more likely to die than white people. Heid writes that poor representation among these groups in SARS-CoV-2 research efforts could “have serious and negative implications for the development of successful drugs.” Even so, some of the most significant early research on the coronavirus vaccines and treatments are not representative.
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