By Colleen Campbell
Recent calls for racial inclusivity in vaccine trials, which often rely on genetic rationales while emphasizing medical distrust among African Americans, unfortunately lack an equally robust critique of medical racism and the ongoing reasons for this distrust.
Even though race lacks genetic meaning, the COVID-19 discourse is rife with biological notions of race. Because of “[g]enetics related to racial differences” African Americans must be involved in clinical trials, said Dr. Larry Graham in an NBC News article. He continued: “We must be sure it works in Black folks.” For this reason, companies like biotech firm Moderna are enlisting Black religious leaders to heavily recruit African American participants. They are also exploiting networks previously used for HIV clinical trials.