Meanwhile, Pfizer increased its sample size to from 30,000 to 44,000 in a bid to recruit more participants from minority groups. The company has made diversity data public, showing that 29% of US participants and 43% of global participants are from diverse backgrounds. Rather than aiming for the diversity targets outlined by Fauci, a Pfizer company spokesperson said the company’s goal is to have 30% minority participation—defined as Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Native American—within US trials, and 40% globally.

Racially diverse research is essential to understand the impact of vaccines and treatments on all demographics. But clinical trials are also a medical benefit in their own right. “If I told you there was a more effective form of insulin but it was disproportionately available to Caucasian people, I think that would upset a lot of people,” says Maxwell. “Clinical trials that can extend people’s lives or improve their quality of life deserve that same level of scrutiny. They deserve to operate under that same principle that access should be well distributed, fair, and representative of society.”

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.