Vaccine Developer Moderna Could Slow COVID-19 Trials to Add At-Risk Minorities

By Reuters Staff

September 08, 2020

(Reuters) - Moderna Inc has been asking sites that are conducting clinical trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to focus on enrolling at-risk minorities, even if that slows down the trial speed, the company said on Friday.

Shares of Moderna, one of the few companies in the final stages of developing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, fell 6.8% in morning trading.

The drug developer said it expected to enrollment to the late-stage study that began in late-July and aims to add 30,000 healthy volunteers to be completed in September.

As of last week, it had added 17,000 participants, of which nearly 24% are from communities of color.

A growing body of evidence has shown that long-standing health and social inequities have resulted in increased risk of infection and death from COVID-19 among communities of color. (https://reut.rs/2R1oGZL)

Nearly a fifth of 11,000 people enrolled so far in a 30,000-volunteer U.S. trial testing a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech are Black or Latino, groups among the hardest hit by the coronavirus, a top Pfizer executive told Reuters last month.

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