• COVID-19 Outbreaks in US Immigrant Detention Centers: The Urgent Need to Adopt CDC Guidelines for Prevention and Evaluation.

      Openshaw, John J; Travassos, Mark A (Oxford University Press, 2021-01-23)
      There have been several significant outbreaks of COVID-19 in federal immigrant detention centers, which lack clear and consistent guidelines across Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued detailed guidelines for the control, prevention, and evaluation of COVID-19 in detention facilities. Although the DHS's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has stated that it complies with CDC recommendations, its policies significantly differ from these CDC guidelines, placing detainees at risk for contracting COVID-19. This submission urges the adoption of CDC guidelines across DHS-associated facilities. Such a policy change has the potential to protect and save the lives of the most vulnerable populations under the auspices of the federal government.
    • Inadequate Minority Representation within SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Trials

      Craft, Joshua F; Travassos, Mark A; Foppiano Palacios, Carlo; Openshaw, John J (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2020-11-11)
      Minority communities have borne the brunt of COVID-19 disease in the United States. Nonwhites have contracted most of the SARS-CoV-2 infections; COVID-19 mortality rates for Black Americans are more than twice those for whites. Given this, studying the most effective ways to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 in these populations should be a research priority, particularly with respect to vaccine trials. Federal guidelines from the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration emphasize the need for inclusion of minority groups in these trials, but none of the publicly available SARS-CoV-2 vaccine trial protocols requires representative sampling of minorities. This piece emphasizes the importance of adequate inclusion of minority communities in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine trials, and the implications of this inclusion for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine distribution. © 2021 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene