Hyattsville, MD – CASA and the University of Maryland School of Medicine administer COVID-19 vaccine trials to communities historically underrepresented in public health research, including Latino and Black communities. The vaccine trials focus on recruiting diverse participants based on the culturally competent design of the study. Parts of the Multicultural Center, CASA’s Hyattsville office and headquarters, have been transformed into a medical clinic to run the vaccine trials. In Langley Park, a hotspot for COVID-19, a team of 15+ health promoters is on the ground, educating and recruiting at laundromats, bus stops, supermarkets, farmers markets, and other places highly frequented by the Black and brown community. Similarly, a team of Community Health Workers in Baltimore is leading CASA’s efforts there in engaging and incentivizing Black and Brown community participation in the trials.
“The COVID-19 vaccine trials must include communities of color who have been the most affected by the virus,” said George Escobar, CASA’s Chief of Programs and Services. “After serving selflessly on the frontlines, our communities deserve the best medicine science can offer. Excluding our communities could mean experiencing side effects when the vaccines are publicly available. This is one of the best tools that we have to fight the pandemic. I am participating in the trial myself and got vaccinated in late August.”
Vaccines are administered at CASA’s office in Hyattsville and on campus in Baltimore at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Participants will be compensated by the research team for the investigational vaccine study, which lasts two years. Participants will be contacted mostly via phone for follow-up. Visit www.wearecasa.org/vacunas to learn about how to participate or call CASA’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-765-2272.
“We are looking to conduct the highest quality research that includes a diverse group of people,” said Karen Kotloff, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the principal investigator for the school of medicine’s COVID-19 vaccine trials. “This virus is not democratic. We know that it has impacted minority populations the most and we want to ensure that any research we conduct will help these communities. If the coronavirus is affecting these communities at a disproportionately higher rate, they undeniably need a vaccine that will work for them. Collaborating with CASA allows us to reach out to these communities and let them be participants in the process for a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Media can download b-roll and images of George Escobar’s vaccination at www.wearecasa.org/vaccinesbroll
With over 100,000 members across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall