As skepticism grows regarding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine among the African-American community, leading US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said that an African-American woman has worked on one of the leading vaccine candidates.
“The same vaccine that is one of two that has absolutely exquisite levels – 94 to 95 percent effective against a clinical disease and almost 100 percent effective against a serious disease that has been shown to be clearly safe – that vaccine was developed actually at my institute, a 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 in an interview with CNN, quoted by The Hill.
“So the first thing I might want to tell my African American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that they will take was developed by an African American woman. And that’s just a fact,” he added. in reference to a vaccine that will be launched by Moderna.
Corbett, who is the lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research at the National Institutes of Health, said those who doubt the vaccine have the right to ask questions.
“I would tell people who are doubtful about vaccines that they have earned the right to ask any questions they have about these vaccines and this vaccine development process,” Corbett told CNN.
“Trust, especially when it has been taken from people, has to be rebuilt brick by brick,” Corbett said, adding: “So what I tell people first is that I feel empathy, and then second. It’s that I’m going to do my part by laying those bricks. And I think that if everyone on our side, as doctors and scientists, did it that way, then trust would start to rebuild. “
According to The Hill, a June Pew research study highlighted that 54 percent of African-American adults said they would definitely or likely receive a coronavirus vaccine if one was available today, and 44 percent said no.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use on Friday for the prevention of coronavirus disease in people 16 years of age and older.
“The FDA clearance for emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine is an important milestone in the fight against this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world,” said the Commissioner of the FDA, Stephen M. Hahn, MD.
President Donald Trump said the vaccine will be administered “in less than 24 hours.”
“The first vaccine will be administered in less than 24 hours,” Trump said, adding that the pandemic came from China but ended “right here in the United States.”
To date, more than 70.1 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with more than 1.59 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The United States remains the most affected country, with more than 15.8 million confirmed cases and more than 294,000 deaths.
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