Who are the volunteers in vaccine clinical trials?

People volunteer to take part in clinical research studies. All study volunteers must go through a process called informed consent that ensures they understand all of the risks and benefits of being in a study, and those volunteers are reminded that they may leave a study at any time without losing any of their rights or benefits.

Each clinical trial emphasizes the safety of the vaccine on people. As the research moves through to the next phase, the group of volunteers becomes bigger to include more diversity in people and circumstances.  A diverse group of people volunteered to participate in every phase of the clinical trials, including populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to generations of systemic inequities.

For example, in Pfizer’s clinical trials, about 42% of volunteers identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or Native American. About 37% of volunteers for Moderna’s trials identified as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, or other.


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