Fauci wants people to know that leading scientists developing the Covid-19 vaccine are a black woman

The nation’s chief infectious disease expert said at an event in the National Urban League on Tuesday that it is important to recognize the American history of racism in American research and understand how it has sparked mistrust among some black people.

But Fauci stressed that the Covid-19 vaccines that are being prepared are safe and effective, adding that African-American scientists have also been involved in their development.

“A vaccine that is one of two with absolutely excellent levels – 94-95% efficacy against clinical illnesses and almost 100% efficacy against serious illnesses that have been shown to be safe – is given by my institute. vaccine developed by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or the research center of a research group led by Kizzy Corbett, “Fauci said.

Corbett is a leading scientist at the National Institutes of Health in coronavirus vaccine research. He is part of a team that worked with the biotechnology company Moderna on one of two mRNA vaccines that are expected to receive emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month. The other is a Pfizer vaccine candidate.

“So the first thing worth telling my African American brothers is that the vaccine was developed by an African American woman,” Fauci added. – And that’s just a fact.

Experts are trying to increase confidence

Black Americans and other colored people were disproportionately affected by Covid-19, which enhanced the urgent role of health experts and community leaders in building trust in the vaccine.

But skepticism among some colorful people, especially black Americans, remains high.

A study published by COVID Collaborative, NAACP, and UnidosUS found that only 14% of Black Americans are confident that a vaccine will be safe and 18% are confident that it will be effective. Their concerns stem largely from the fact that the history of racism in medical research and health care includes events such as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the study found.
Black Americans hardest hit by pandemic feel hurt by both virus and race inequalities

Corbett of CNN dr. Sanjay told Gupta that he sees with his own hands the hesitation about the vaccine in black communities. Restoring trust in medical institutions will take time, he said, and this needs to be accepted by health experts.

“I would tell people who are hesitant about vaccination that they have earned the right to ask questions about these vaccinations and the vaccine development process,” he says in a subsequent episode of the CNN podcast, “Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction.”

Corbett, for his part, said he was trying to regain that trust.

He made an explicit statement about the role that systemic racism played in the epidemic and criticized the Trump administration for its lack of diversity in the coronavirus task force.

“Trust, especially when it has been deprived of people, needs to be built from brick to brick,” he said. “And so what I’m telling people first is that I feel it, and then the second time I’m involved in laying the bricks. And I think if everyone on our side as a doctor and a scientist were to rebuild that trust.”

Fauci addresses specific concerns

Fauci takes a similar approach.

He said he usually hears two main concerns about vaccines: the speed of their development, and their safety and effectiveness.

Although the development of vaccines has traditionally taken years and even decades, advances in vaccine platform technology have significantly shortened this process without compromising safety or scientific integrity, Fauci said.

He also pointed out that pharmaceutical companies or the federal government cannot be trusted to assess the safety of vaccinations, saying both are advised by independent committees of experienced doctors, scientists and ethicists.

These independent experts, not politicians, determine whether the vaccine is safe for the public, he added.

“When they then say that the vaccine is safe and effective, I will tell you that I myself will be perfectly comfortable taking the vaccine myself and will recommend it to my family,” Fauci said.

CNN’s Nicquel Terry Ellis, Sanjay Gupta and Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to the report.