At an online event hosted by the National Urban League on Tuesday (December 8), Dr. Anthony Fauci made an appeal to Black Americans to trust the vaccine.
During his remarks, he highlighted the work of Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a Black woman.
“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,” Fauci said.
Dr. Corbett is the lead scientist on the National Institute of Health’s coronavirus vaccine research. She works on the team developing one of the two mRNA vaccines at Moderna, which is expected to receive emergency use authorization within the month after achieving a nearly 95% effective rate.
Fauci acknowledged the nation’s history of medical racism, which is a part of what is fueling distrust of the vaccine among African Americans.
According to a study by the COVID Collaborative, NAACP, and UnidosUS, 14% of Black Americans trust that the vaccine against coronavirus will be safe. Only 18% trust that it will be effective.
Dr. Corbett also addressed the historical context of medical mistrust in an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for an upcoming episode of the CNN podcast Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction.
She stated, “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.”
She hopes that her role in the vaccine’s development will help rebuild trust within the Black community which has been severely impacted by coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci and other health experts continue to answer questions about the vaccine’s development and their safety as they prepare for a massive vaccination rollout campaign.
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