July 24, 2024


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California awards Joe Biden its 55 electoral votes, cementing his presidential victory




Fauci praises African American scientist at ‘forefront’ of creating Covid vaccine

Anthony Fauci has praised the work of Kizzmekia Corbett, an African American scientist who the leading US public health expert said was “at the forefront” of the development of a leading coronavirus vaccine.

In a conversation about mistrust of Covid-19 vaccines among Black people in an online forum with the National Urban League, Fauci said Corbett was one of two leaders of the team which created a vaccine found to be 94% effective.

Corbett’s team at the National Institutes of Health worked with pharmaceutical company Moderna to develop the vaccine – one of two found to be more than 90% effective – which is expected to be authorised for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration this month.

Asked to talk about the involvement of African American scientists in the vaccination effort, Fauci said: “That [Moderna] vaccine was actually developed in my institute’s vaccine research centre by a team of scientists led by Dr Barney Graham and his close colleague Dr Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett. Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine.

“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.”

Research by the Covid Collaborative, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and UnidosUS found that just 14% of Black Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe and 18% trust it will be effective.

The study found that many concerns were based on America’s racist history of medical research, including the Tuskegee syphilis experiment between 1932 and 1972, in which more than 100 Black men are estimated to have died.

Fauci said he fully respected scepticism around the vaccine and said it was important to address the historical reasons behind it. He also emphasised that scientists, not politicians, are in charge of approving coronavirus vaccines.

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