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Local COVID-19 treatment research trials look for Hispanic volunteers

1 week 2 days 20 hours ago Tuesday, May 04 2021 May 4, 2021 May 04, 2021 9:51 PM May 04, 2021 in News - Local

The search to find more treatments for the coronavirus is still going strong, and in Brownsville, a doctor and his team are hoping for a breakthrough.

As production for the COVID-19 vaccine continues to meet the demand, public health experts are looking to the next problem; there's still no treatment for the virus.

Last winter, Texas opened infusion therapy centers to help prevent severe cases of COVID-19. Dr. Christopher Romero, medical director for PanAmerican Clinical Research, says that therapy saved lives, but's it's just the start.

Easier this year, Romero and his team began trials of a COVID-19 vaccine made from tobacco plants, now they're joining the National Institute for Health's search for coronavirus treatment.

But finding participants is the first step, and overall Hispanic people don't typically participate in trials.

Last year, 75% of drug trial participants were white, and only 11% were Hispanic.

Yet, Hispanics lead the way in COVID-19 deaths and cases.

"Cameron and Hidalgo County are in the top 10 counties for mortalities in the state of Texas," Romero said. "The Latino population, we have borne the significant burden of severe disease and mortality."

Romero said it's important for Hispanic people to be represented in future studies of treatment and vaccines.

If you had COVID-19 within the last 10 days and symptoms in the last eight, call Panam Clinical Research at 443-0016 to sign up for the ACTIV-2 clinical trial.

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