In recent weeks, major studies have offered promising news on the development of two leading novel coronavirus vaccine candidates. At least, they were promising for some Americans.
The vaccines—from U.S. biotech company Moderna and a consortium of Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca—appeared to be safe. They also seemed to produce an immune response in separate test groups together numbering more than a thousand people. But there was a problem with the studies, according to experts on the intersection of immunology and race: The test groups in both the Moderna and the Oxford-AstraZeneca trials were overwhelmingly white. This despite data indicating COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color.