BALTIMORE (WJZ) — People from all walks of life have expressed hesitation about a COVID-19 vaccination.

In the middle of the deadliest pandemic in a century, developers around the world are racing to find safe vaccines, and there is an urgent need for people in under-represented groups to volunteer for trials.

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The University of Maryland School of Medicine has led the way for a global solution. Researchers stress that vaccine participants can trust that trials are safe.


“Safety of the participants is the number one priority and we really want to enroll diverse populations because we want to make sure that the vaccine works in all people,” Dr. Monica McArthur, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, said.

Historically, people of color have been hesitant to participate in trials because researchers, sometimes with backing from the U.S. government, have lied about true motives.

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McArthur says times have changed, but building trust also takes time.

“There have been a lot of horrible injustices in the past and we take those very seriously,” McArthur said. “We as a research community have taken great strides to ensure that studies are conducted in the most ethical matter.”

Pfizer and Moderna both came out this week and said their vaccine efficiency is in the mid-90% range. There are other trials out there, however, that will be necessary for the global demand.

If you would like to participate at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, click here.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Ava-joye Burnett