Fauci Allays Fears of African Americans Over Authorised COVID-19 Vaccines

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U.S. top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has addressed the rising concerns among the African-American community regarding the safety of the recently authorised COVID-19 vaccines.

Fauci said in an interview with CNN, as quoted by The Hill, that one of the major vaccine candidates had actually been worked on by one of them, an African-American 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 was speaking in reference to a vaccine that will be released by Moderna.

“The very vaccine that’s one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels  -94 to 95 per cent efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100 per cent efficacy against a serious disease that is shown to be clearly safe.

READ ALSO: FDA Approves Emergency Use Of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine In US

“That 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.”

Corbett who is the lead scientist for the National Institutes of Health’s coronavirus vaccine research said that those who had hesitancy against the vaccine had 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.

“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,” he added.

The Hill reports that research conducted in June had highlighted that 54 per cent of African-American said they would definitely or probably get a coronavirus vaccine if one were available today, while 44 per cent said they would not.

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 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 would 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 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 nation, with more than 15.8 million confirmed cases and over 294,000 fatalities.

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