ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Data shows that COVID-19 disproportionately affects Black and brown people, but they are also underrepresented in vaccine clinical trials. 

“I really don’t feel like it’s safe at the moment,” Tyrika Drayton said of participating.

“I’m extremely, extremely skeptical about it,” said Dee Davis.

Dr. Dominic Mack with the Morehouse School of Medicine is helping to recruit minorities, but he understands the skepticism.

“Everybody’s heard of the Tuskegee experiment,” he said.

The decades-long Tuskegee Syphilis study is now infamous. Starting in the 1930s, the U.S. government misled participants and withheld treatment for hundreds of poor Black men in Alabama. President Bill Clinton would later apologize for the experiment.

“What the U.S. government did was shameful, and I am sorry,” he said in 1997.

Although minority communities may be more skeptical of vaccine trials, Dr. Mack said it’s imperative they are represented.

Black Americans are 4.7 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and Hispanics are 4.6 times more likely.

“We have to be part of the trial, part of the studies to see if these studies, if the vaccination is effective on our communities,” Dr. Mack explained. “I would say we have to participate”

If you’d like to be a part of the Covid-19 vaccine trials, visit https://www.coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org/

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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