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Researchers Seek To Address COVID-19 In Hard-Hit Communities

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Covid-19 testing underway in Crenshaw. Chava Sanchez/LAist
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A coalition of 11 academic institutions across California received a $4.1 million grant to address COVID-19 in populations that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

The effort, led by researchers at UCLA, is part of a larger, multi-state project funded by the National Institutes of Health that seeks a community-engaged approach to coronavirus education. Investigators will focus on Black, Latina/o and Indigenous populations, which account for more than half of all reported cases in the United States.

UCLA professor of medicine Dr. Arleen Brown says in Los Angeles, part of the focus will be on high-risk veterans.

Investigators in L.A. will run virtual focus groups, “to try to understand what people know about COVID-19, what some of the misconceptions about the disease and its spread are, and also misconceptions about the vaccine development process,” she said.

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Brown added that African Americans and Latina/os are vastly underrepresented in clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine.