US top infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci (Photo/ANI)
US top infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci (Photo/ANI)

Fauci addresses African Americans' vaccine concerns, says 'developed by African American woman'

ANI | Updated: Dec 12, 2020 15:19 IST


Washington [US], December 12 (ANI): As skepticism regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccine among the African American community rises, US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said that one of the major vaccine candidates has been worked on by an African American woman.
"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 a serious disease that is 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 in an interview to CNN, as quoted by The Hill.
"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 added that was in reference to a vaccine that will be released by Moderna.
Corbett who is the lead scientist for the National Institutes of Health's coronavirus vaccine research said that those who have hesitancy against the vaccine have a right to ask questions.
"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 told CNN.
"Trust, especially when it has been stripped from people, has to be rebuilt in a brick-by-brick fashion," Corbett said and added, "And so, what I say to people first 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."

According to The Hill, a Pew research study conducted in June highlighted that 54 per cent of African American adults said that they would definitely or probably get a coronavirus vaccine if one were available today, and 44 percent said they would not.
The US Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use on Friday for the prevention of coronavirus disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.
"The FDA's authorization for emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world," said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD.
President Donald Trump said that the vaccine will be administered "in less than 24 hours."
"The first vaccine will be administered in less than 24 hours," Trump said while adding that the pandemic came from China but ended "right here in America".
To date, more than 70.1 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 1.59 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The United States remains the worst-hit nations, with more than 15.8 million confirmed cases and over 294,000 fatalities. (ANI)

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