Congresswoman Elaine Luria Advocates for Inclusivity in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

June 18, 2020
Press Release

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — In an effort to ensure inclusivity in COVID-19 vaccine development, Congresswoman Elaine Luria joined a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to collect and report the aggregate sex and race data of all participants in COVID-19 vaccine trials. This data collection will be imperative to ensuring that a vaccine will have demonstratable efficacy and safety for communities of color, which are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“By collecting and reporting the sex and race data of those participating in clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine, we can better ensure that the vaccine will be safe and effective for all Americans,” said Congresswoman Luria. “As scientists work to develop this critical and lifesaving vaccine, it is imperative that we include a diverse and representative sample in all clinical trials. We cannot eliminate health disparities without factoring diversity into research efforts.”

The letter argues that federal agencies leading the vaccine development effort must include a diverse, representative sample in clinical trials. Some clinical trials for vaccine candidates have already begun producing promising results, but those developing the vaccine during this global pandemic must ensure that a vaccine is developed with inclusivity and diversity in mind.

Find the full letter here.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.