Fauci addresses Black Americans’ vaccine concerns: This was ‘developed by an African American woman’
The nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci, recently addressed skepticism among the Black community surrounding the safety of a coronavirus vaccine, stating that one of the major vaccine candidates has been worked on by an African American woman.
During a National Urban League event on Tuesday, Fauci acknowledged the history of government experimentation on communities of color and why there would be some distrust among the community surrounding the vaccine.
“The very vaccine that’s one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels — 94 to 95 percent efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100 percent efficacy against serious disease that are shown to be clearly safe — that vaccine was actually developed in my institute’s vaccine research center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett,” Fauci said, according to CNN.
“So, the first thing you might want to say to my African American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you’re going to be taking was developed by an African American woman. And that is just a fact,” he said, referring to a vaccine that will be released by Moderna, The Root reported.
Corbett is the lead scientist for the National Institutes of Health’s coronavirus vaccine research and has addressed hesitancy within the Black community in the past.
“I would say to people who are vaccine-hesitant that you’ve earned the right to ask the questions that you have around these vaccines and this vaccine development process,” Corbett said in the CNN podcast “Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction.”
“Trust, especially when it has been stripped from people, has to be rebuilt in a brick-by-brick fashion,” Corbett said. “And so, what I say to people firstly is that I empathize, and then secondly is that I’m going to do my part in laying those bricks. And I think that if everyone on our side, as physicians and scientists, went about it that way, then the trust would start to be rebuilt.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) also recently emphasized the need to build trust in a coronavirus vaccine among the Black community.
A Pew research study conducted in June showed that 54 percent of Black adults say they would definitely or probably get a coronavirus vaccine if one were available today, and 44 percent said they would not.
The FDA is set to approve an emergency use authorization for a Pfizer vaccine in the next few days. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says that the first vaccinations on the authorization could be administered as early as Monday or Tuesday.