Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US' top infectious disease doctor, told CNN on Wednesday that Phase 3 clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines should aim to include minorities at levels that are at least double their representation in the population.
So far, that’s significantly higher than the participation levels of minorities in the trial being run by Moderna, the first US company to start a Covid-19 vaccine trial.
The data: According to Census data, Black people represent 13% of the US population. Doubling that would mean 26% of participants should be Black for the trial.
But so far, Black people represent only 4.5% of Moderna’s study participants, according to data obtained by CNN.
Census data show Latinos represent 18% of the US population, and doubling that would mean 36% of participants should be Latino for the trial. However, only about 10% of Moderna’s trial participants are Latino.
Importance of minority representation: Fauci made clear these levels are goals, not requirements. But sufficient numbers of minorities are crucial in order to determine safety and efficacy for these groups, which are disproportionately affected by the virus in the US.
Fauci said participation of minorities in the trials should “aim to match the burden of disease. We’d like to do that -- whether or not we get there I don’t know.”
A study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examining reports of nearly 600,000 coronavirus cases where race was indicated, found that while 13% of the population is Black, 22% of cases were Black. The report also found that while 18% of the US population is Latino, 33% of cases were Latino.