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Seniors, minorities sought for coronavirus vaccine study at University of Maryland medical school in Baltimore

Working on a late phase trial of a coronavirus vaccine, the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is seeking the participation of older adults and minorities, groups traditionally left out of studies.

Recruitment began Monday for the phase 3 trial for a vaccine developed by the Massachusetts biotech company Moderna along with the National Institutes of Health. About 30,000 volunteers are being sought nationwide, including 500 in Maryland.

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Scientists say adults, 65 or older, as well as Black people, Latinos and other minorities historically have been underrepresented in studies for vaccines and treatments no matter the size of their representation in the community. But the scientists see inclusion as especially important for the coronavirus, which has disproportionately affected these groups.

For the trial, the last stage before potential federal approval, a person could be vaccinated with the actual vaccine or a placebo.

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Officials say participants will be paid up to $1,620 and transportation will be provided for older adults. The researchers are accepting healthy, at-risk individuals including those with some underlying health conditions.

For more information, go to CVDTrials.Org, text COVIDRESEARCH to 555888 or call 410-706-6156.

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