The business interests behind vaccine trials work against people of color
October 14, 2020
In the southern US, Matt Maxwell has been working for months to recruit participants for ongoing Covid-19 vaccine trials. As the chief executive officer of Accel Clinical Services, a private clinic that runs trials in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, he’s used to the logistical difficulty of assembling thousands of people across hundreds of miles. With these trials, though, he’s running into a new challenge.
“I’ve never had a study where someone calls and says we need three more Hispanic patients today,” says Maxwell. “And we’re having those kinds of calls now.”
He’s not the only one. After an influx of white participants in its vaccine trial, pharmaceutical company Moderna told Sharon Smith, vice president of recruiting at the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research in Florida, to only recruit participants who are Black and Latinx, she says.