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Vaccine developer Moderna could slow COVID-19 trials to add at-risk minorities

Shares of Moderna, one of the few companies in the final stages of developing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, closed down about 3.5%.

By: Reuters | September 5, 2020 1:35:30 pm
Moderna vaccine, Vaccine developer Moderna, Coronavirus vaccine, Moderna vaccine share, Indian expressModerna said it has enrolled 21,411 participants in the study so far.

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, closed down about 3.5%. The company said it has enrolled 21,411 participants in the study so far. It had 17,000 participants as of last week, with 24% from communities of color.

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

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.

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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