GWU exceeds goal for minority recruitment in COVID-19 trial

George Washington University says half of its COVID-19 vaccine trial participants are people of color, surpassing an earlier goal of 30 percent.

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The minority recruitment success was first reported by the Washington Post.

GWU's 500-person trial is part of the national phase three trial for the Moderna vaccine candidate.

A university spokeswoman told FOX 5 that percentage of minority participation is unique, especially given the history of distrust in the Black community toward medical professionals.

One of the clearest examples of that distrust is the decades of fallout from the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, which began in 1932. Black men were not told what researchers were studying and were not given treatment when one was developed.

Mark Spradley, a 66 financial advisor from Maryland, says he enrolled because he felt a duty to help.

"I would argue that this is what the country needs right now. We need to come together for the greater good and this public health initiative is something that everyone can play a part in," said Spradley.

GW's portion of the trial will end when it reaches 500 participants or when 30,000 participants are enrolled nationally.