Penn Medicine: Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center Doubles the Percentage of Black Participants in Clinical Trials

By In the News

A five-year community outreach and engagement effort by the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania (ACC) to increase enrollment of Black patients into cancer clinical trials more than doubled the percentage of participants, improving access and treatment for a group with historically low representation in cancer research. The percentage of patients enrolled into a treatment clinical trial, for example, increased from 12 to 24 percent. A significant increase was also observed in non-therapeutic interventional and non-interventional trials. “We’ve shown here that a multifaceted, community-based engagement initiative works to improve access to cancer clinical trials by Black patients with cancer,” said…

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USA Today: Vaccine equity remains elusive as vaccination rates for people of color still lag

By In the News

Five months into America’s unprecedented vaccination effort, the trend is holding across much of the nation, as white people continue to be vaccinated at faster rates than Black and Hispanic people in most states. Hispanics make up only 12% of COVID-19 vaccinations, but 17% of the U.S. population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Wednesday. Similarly, 8.8% of those who have received at least one dose are Black, but Black people make up more than 12% of the population. “If we mean equity, and if we mean vaccine for all and justice for all, then there’s still…

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The Philadelphia Inquirer: Vaccination rates keep rising in some Philly suburbs, as others plateau, facing access and hesitancy challenges

By In the News

Overall, there’s promising news about Pennsylvania’s vaccine efforts, and progress has been swift since the state opened eligibility to everyone 16 and older earlier this month. As of Thursday, more than half of Pennsylvania’s eligible population had gotten at least one shot, according to Inquirer data analysis. That question of access becomes key as demand slows, said Harald Schmidt, a medical ethics and health policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has been studying vaccine allocation. While stakeholders statewide are working to methodically reach people who are experiencing homelessness, have a disability, or are homebound, broader issues of access…

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NC Policy Watch: NC is making progress, but vaccinating homebound seniors remains a big challenge

By In the News

It’s become easier and easier for most people to find available COVID-19 vaccine appointments but getting vaccinated poses a particular challenge for homebound seniors. Getting homebound residents vaccinated involves coordination – connecting organizations that know where they are with vaccine providers, said Charlene Wong, chief health policy officer for COVID-19 at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. More than 100 vaccine providers are making home visits, Wong said, and people who need them are being identified by area programs on aging, faith groups, and others. Read more at NC Policy Watch.

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Law 360: States Must Factor Race In COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization

By In the News

Since the early months of the pandemic, health care organizations such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, or NASEM, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts, or WHO SAGE, worked to avoid vaccine inequities by studying ways that vaccines could be allocated to prioritize the people who are more likely to be severely affected by COVID-19. Based on Harald Schmidt’s research, the NASEM recommended phases of vaccine prioritization based on age, occupation, and comorbidities and that vaccine access within each phase be “prioritized for geographic areas identified as…

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The Daily Pennsylvanian: Penn researchers find evidence of racial bias in models used to allocate limited resources

By In the News

A study by Penn researchers found evidence of racial bias in models used to allocate limited health care resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most common mortality prediction model, however, overestimates mortality among Black patients and underestimates mortality among white patients, putting Black patients behind white patients in the line to receive scarce resources, Penn Leonard Davis Institute of Health reported. The study was conducted by Perelman School of Medicine instructor George Anesi, Perelman School of Medicine second-year fellow Christopher Chesley, Perelman School of Medicine assistant professor Nwamaka Eneanya, Perelman School of Medicine assistant professor Gary Weissman, Perelman School of Medicine assistant professor…

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