According to Nez, including Native Americans and other ethnic minorities in vaccine trials is important. “Not every vaccine works for every nationality or body type,” he said. Public health experts say vaccine trials “should have participation reflective of the makeup of the country,” according to Cronkite News. Emmanuel Peprah, an assistant professor of global health at New York University and former National Institutes of Health official, told Cronkite: “A lot of African Americans, Black and brown people have died from this coronavirus. If we do not participate in a large enough sample size so that we’re representative, we won’t know how these various vaccines will interact with us and give the clinicians … enough data.” Christine Ami, Diné, faculty member of the Social and Behavioral Sciences department at Diné College, a past critic of the Navajo government’s lack of transparency in the vaccine trial vetting process was blocked, once again, from making comments.
HAPPENING SOON: The famed Dr. Anthony Fauci will join Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer for a #COVID19 town hall. Tune in! @NNPrezNez @NNVP_Lizer @niaidnews #Coronavirus #DrFauci #Navajo https://t.co/BOMfbC2Pxb pic.twitter.com/lfwEsLFvbp— indianz.com (@indianz) September 21, 2020
Fauci assured Lizer that an independent safety data and safety board monitors the trials. In the case of an adverse reaction, the board has the power to pause the trial, as happened recently in Great Britain with the AtraZenica vaccine trials. The AstraZenica trial was paused after two trial participants in Great Britain developed serious neurological illnesses. Although the trials have resumed in Great Britain, Brazil, India and South Africa, they are still on hold in the U.S., according to the New York Times. The company has come under fire for refusing to divulge details about participant’s illnesses in Great Britain “The pause [in the AstraZenica trial] is a manifestation of how the system is working,” Fauci said. Before the vaccine is approved for use by the public, the Food and Drug Administration will carefully scrutinize the data and make the final decision, according to Fauci. “So we should feel confident that since these things are transparent, the vaccine will not be released to the public before it’s proven safe and effective,” Fauci said.
Now in @ICTOpinion— ICT Opinion (@ICTOpinion) September 21, 2020
"Politics of Distrust: The Navajo Nation’s use of propaganda devices to recruit participants for COVID-19 trial vaccine"
By Dr. Christine Ami
Diné College Associate Professorhttps://t.co/bLcZnx9z8O
The Navajo Nation, along with other tribal nations, were hit hard by the novel coronavirus. Cases surged in the hundreds early on in the pandemic and dropped to the single digits on August 25. In the last few weeks, the number of new cases are fluctuating between zero and 25. As of September 20, the tribe has 10,119 positive cases and 548 deaths in total. He noted that the fall and winter months will be especially challenging as the ability to hold activities indoors decreases and the flu season begins. “We want to see the baseline of the country down as low as we see on the Navajo Nation,” Fauci added. Note: Indian Country Today partnered with John Hopkins Center for American Indian Health in May to compile a comprehensive COVID-19 database for Indian Country.
"It only takes a few positive cases to lead to another surge": Navajo Nation leaders are again urging #Coronavirus social distancing and masks amid reports of #COVID19 spikes on largest reservation in US. @NNPrezNez @NNVP_Lizer #Arizona #NewMexico #Utah https://t.co/v7a53W4BD1— indianz.com (@indianz) September 22, 2020
Mary Annette Pember, citizen of the Red Cliff Ojibwe tribe, is national correspondent for Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @mapember. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pember loves film, books and jingle dress dancing.
“Our goal is public service”: This article originally appeared on Indian Country Today LLC, a nonprofit, public media enterprise. Reader support is critical. ICT does not charge for subscriptions and tribal media (or any media, for that matter) can use the publiciation’s content for free. Contribute to the nonprofit Indian Country Today. Thumbnail photo of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci by Shealah Craighead / White House
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