Researchers look for minorities volunteers for clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the COVID-19 death toll continues to climb, research labs, hoping to find a vaccine, are coming under increasing pressure.

The research project sponsored by Pfizer aimed at finding a COVID-19 vaccine, but they are looking for minorities to take part in the clinical trial. Memphian Vickie Hollis is taking part in a clinical trial at CNS.

But Hollis is one of a small number of minorities taking part in the study.

“Well, I just want to see a cure and unless they do a study then they can’t find a cure,” Hollis.

Doctor Lora McGill , lead principal investigator at CNS Healthcare, said there are several trials going on for a vaccine and all have been mandated by the FDA to involve patients that mirror their community.

“We have been aggressively trying to encourage the minority population, including African Americans and Hispanics to enroll in the research study,” McGill said. “That means that we need to have an equal representation based on ethnicity for what are community looks like. And of course in Memphis that includes having minorities enrolled as well.”

At the same time, McGill said she understands why some people are hesitant.

“Because of a lot of distrust for the research system and for healthcare in general. And so that’s been a little bit of challenge for us but I think we’re doing a good job of trying to meet it,” McGill said.

Dr. McGill stressed researchers at CNS are working to get to the final phase of their trials and ultimately approval by the FDA, but enrollment may end in about two weeks.
All the more reason she said minorities should take part in a trial that could save lives.

“If you think about it, if this medicine gets approved and gets on the market. Everyone in the country will be taking it including these minority populations, and it’s not really good science, if we’re using a medication that we have not tested on the patients that we know would be using it,” McGill said.

To learn more information about the trial, click here.

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