The focus will be on equity and inclusion to ensure a diverse population takes part in this phase 3 clinical trial, as UW Health and the University of Wisconsin begin scheduling participants for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine study.

UW Health, UW and the trial’s sponsor are working to ensure that language is not a barrier to accessing the clinical trial, developing webpages and hotline options in both Spanish and Hmong, UW Health said in a press release, and the health system is also ensuring qualified medical interpreters are available to speak with potential participants in 240 languages.

“People of color are a vital population to making this study a success,” said Shiva Bidar, vice president and chief diversity officer at UW Health. “We want to make sure those who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 will have access to the safest, most effective vaccine possible.”

Researchers are working to enroll a diverse patient population across gender, age, race and ethnicity while acknowledging the historic trust gap for communities of color when it comes to clinical trials. UW Health is working with local partners including churches, nonprofits and community organizations to ensure Black and African American, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous populations are informed about the opportunity to participate in this clinical trial.

UW Health and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have been selected as one of the first clinical sites in the country to study whether an investigational vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca can prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Learn more about participating by calling (608)262-8300, e-mailing uwcovidvaccine@clinicaltrials.wisc.edu