Video provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in March, 2020
In a December 8 Facebook Live led by BlackDoctor.org, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the audience (when explaining why Blacks should trust the COVID vaccine) that one of the scientists leading the development of the vaccine is an African-American woman, Dr. Kissmekia S. Corbert. She has been leading the research and development for the vaccine since this process started at the beginning of 2020 when the virus was discovered to be extremely deadly and making its trek around the globe.
“The very vaccine that’s one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels, 94 – 95% efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100% efficacy against serious diseases that has 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. Kizzy is an African American scientist, ” says Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Corbett is a viral immunologist and one of the National Institutes of Health’s lead scientists for coronavirus research working along with the biotech company Moderna.
This team is expected to receive emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the third week in December. The Pfizer BioNTech team recieved emergency-use authorization on December 11 and is preparing for the distribution of their vaccine.
“Dr. Corbett’s contribution to this historical moment cannot be underestimated, explains Reed Tuckson, M.D., F.A.C.P., Managing Director of Tuckson Health Connections, LLC. “In addition to leading the Vaccine Research Center’s Coronavirus Team at AAID/NIH that has played such a critical role in developing COVID vaccine candidates, she has been a centerpiece in the efforts to combat the pervasive mistrust of science and science institutions that has frustrated outreach efforts to much of the African American community.”
Dr. Tuckson continues to explain how she and other Black doctors are aware of the hesitancy of the Black community in taking the vaccine but are in place to ensure its safety. “Dr. Corbett’s role within NIH along with luminaries such as Dr. Gary Gibbons ensures the Black community that we have trusted representatives at the highest levels of the American research enterprise. Furthermore, she stands as a shining role model for all children of color who seek inspiration to pursue their dreams of a career in science. We are fortunate to collaborate with her as we work to provide our community with trustworthy and accurate scientific information.”
Dr. Corbett has been a researcher for over 10 years and during that time her research included working on vaccines for SARS and MERS. “What we know is that this virus is in the same family of viruses like SARS, so it is akin, and about 80 percent genetically similar to the SARS virus,” explains Dr. Corbett in a video from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Everyday we are learning more and more and more, obviously, because this is a novel virus, and even though we’ve been to this rodeo before with MERS AND SARS, there are so many unknowns.”