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Racial Underrepresentation in Phase 1 COVID Vaccine Trials

Racial minorities currently face underrepresentation in phase 1 clinical trials for major COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Novavax). Despite data suggesting higher infection rates in Blacks and Latinos, and higher death rates among Asians, participation rates of various minority groups in clinical trials are sometimes even lower than 1%. It is currently unknown whether future phase 2 or phase 3 clinical trials will employ more diverse representation. 


Characteristics of Enrolled Participants in Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine study. 


Note: Reprinted from “An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report”, by Jackson et al., 2020, New England Journal of Medicine,


Characteristics of Enrolled Participants in Novavax’s NVX-CoV2373 vaccine study.

2020.08.05.20168435v1.full-page-017 (1)

Note: Reprinted from “First-in-Human Trial of a SARS CoV 2 Recombinant Spike Protein Nanoparticle Vaccine”, by Keech et al., 2020, medRxiv,


Characteristics of Enrolled Participants in University of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, compared against a meningococcal MenACWY vaccine control


Note: Reprinted from “Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial”, by Ewer and Folegatti et al., 2020, The Lancet,

Characteristics of Enrolled Participants in Pfizer/BioNTech’s BNT162b1 vaccine study.


Note: Reprinted from “Phase 1/2 Study to Describe the Safety and Immunogenicity of a COVID-19 RNA Vaccine Candidate (BNT162b1) in Adults 18 to 55 Years of Age: Interim Report”, by Mulligan et al., 2020, medRxiv,

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