vaccine research

WHO Honors Henrietta Lacks, Whose Cells Helped in Vaccine Research

“She never knew she was a participant, and that’s the tragedy here, but her contribution to the fields of science and biology is without question and really, unrivaled.” Dr. Ugo Iroku talks about Henrietta Lacks, a Black cervical cancer patient whose cell samples were used in decades of biological research, including for the COVID-19 vaccines. Lacks’ cells were taken without her knowledge in a time before the standard of informed consent. Iroku says that decision has contributed to some Black Americans’ mistrust of the medical field.