Xavier and Dillard Presidents Participate in Vaccine Trial

Virus Outbreak Louisiana
RNA is prepared for testing for the COVID-19 virus at the molecular pathology lab at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS – C. Reynold Verret, the president of Xavier University of Louisiana, and Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University, announced that they are participating in the Ochsner Medical System’s current vaccine trial. As part of the study, the two school leaders have received vaccine injections and have been monitoring and reporting any symptoms and side effects.

“Our communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with harrowing consequences for the lives and health of our fellow citizens,” wrote Verret and Kimbrough in a letter to their students, staff and faculty. “Overcoming the virus will require the availability of vaccines effective for all peoples in our communities, especially our black and brown neighbors. Phase 3 vaccine trials have begun across the nation, including in New Orleans.  It is of the utmost importance that a significant number of black and brown subjects participate so that the effectiveness of these vaccines be understood across the many diverse populations that comprise these United States.”

Verret and Kimbrough are encouraging students, faculty, staff and alumni of Dillard, Xavier and other institutions to consider participating in this trial or others being conducted. “The people and communities we serve look to us as an example. Our participation in such studies will help find ways to better fight the pandemic.”

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