COVID-19 Vaccines Begin Phase 3 Trials

Vaccines from leading pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, are now in the final phases of testing. This final phase includes large-scale human trials. Oxford University is also set to start final testing on their vaccine next month.

Officials are concerned about the representation in these trials. While Black people and Latinx people account for 50 percent of all COVID-19 cases, so far, they only make up for 15 percent of participants in the Moderna study. Moderna is looking to recruit 30,000 participants. They already have 8,374 enrolled in the trials.

CBS News got an inside look at how the Pfizer study works. Each week, Pfizer sends cases of the vaccine and placebo to their testing site in New Orleans where it is stored in a freezer to keep it stable. Once a week, a five-person committee looks over the data and discusses the findings.

For either vaccine to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it must prevent or decrease the severity of the virus in at least 50 percent of vaccinated people.