Covid-19 Vaccine: Rumor vs Reality. Did a Black woman develop the COVID-19 vaccine? I have been hearing so many rumors and buzzings around wondering is that true? Could it possibly be true? And so I'm really excited about today's topic. I'm going to address these 4 questions.
1. Did a Black woman actually develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?
2. Did this said Black woman actually work on the coronavirus vaccine technology for six years?
3. Why are so many members of the Black community hesitant to take the vaccine?
4. I'll answer this question. Will I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
All right, let's talk about it.
Did A Black Woman Develop The Covid-19 Vaccine, Rumor Vs Reality?
It's a reality. Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is a Black woman who is only 34-years-old, by the way. And she has been working in the National Institutes Of Health (NIH) lab. She is a viral immunologist and she alongside Dr. Barney Graham has been the lead scientist in developing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. It's absolutely true. She's a lead scientist, she leads the team and she has actually been working on this coronavirus vaccine-related data since 2014.
Now you may recall that even though this is the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, it's not the first coronavirus to ever hit the Earth. In fact, common colds are caused by coronaviruses. Also, the original SARS and MERS have been caused by a coronavirus. If you have not done so already, I want you to please check out my YouTube channel, I actually did a video on coronaviruses in general to give you some type of history. But the point is that even though everything has been happening at warp speed seemingly, Dr. Kizzy Corbett has been working on this technology since at least 2014. Not warp speed, many years in the making.
Who Is Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett?
I just want to give you a little bit of history on Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett. She says that she's someone who has always loved science and always loved solving math problems. Even at a young age in elementary school, she started winning regional science competitions. And so this is in her heart. She even said that she feels like this is her purpose to help with science, to answer questions.
And when she talks about her decision to become a scientist, she actually says that she wanted to be a scientist because it's something that she found that she was quite good at and could do. And also is something that is fun. So she took this messenger RNA platform, and really she was the key. She was the lead scientist who developed the technology to get this platform to a place where it could become an antigen that is recognized by our bodies so that we can create antibodies to the COVID-19.
I've actually discussed the messenger RNA science in some of my other videos. So if you actually go to my IGTV Channel COVID-19 Rumor vs Reality series, and you look at my videos on the Moderna vaccine, and on the Pfizer vaccine. I go into detail on how the spike protein works with this messenger RNA to create the vaccine.
Has Dr. Corbett Been Working On This Technology For Six Years?
Yes. Since 2014, she's been working on the coronavirus vaccine-related technologies. When the pandemic hit, her mind and her science had already been working.
Why Are Black Americans and Minorities More Hesitant To Get The Covid-19 Vaccine?
It's not just the Black community, it's Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans. There are also many Caucasians who are also reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine. So we are making some progress in getting confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine, but understandably things are new. And there is a strong history of the medical community, the scientific community, quite frankly, not deserving the trust of people in minority communities and in Black communities specifically.
So let's talk about some of these reasons. I know that many people have been talking about the Tuskegee experiment. I talk about the Tuskegee experiment. And if you go to my YouTube channel, I do a whole video where I go into detail about it. There have been many other issues involved with the Black community. There's a lot of implicit bias within the medical community. There are reports of Black women specifically having hysterectomies that are not medically indicated. And there are so many more things, not just in the past, but in the present.
So what do we do about that? First off, we must validate it. And I don't like it when people say, "Oh, that's in the past and if that community wants to dwell on it, then they deserve it and don't let them have the vaccine." Because there are some people who think like that, but it's not just the past. Again, it's the present. There are certain things that are going on in the Black community right now and among other minorities that continue to perpetuate the distrust of the medical community. That's just real.
I was actually talking to my cousin, my first cousin, she's very bright. She's actually a registered nurse, and highly intelligent. She herself is not planning on getting the vaccine yet. She just doesn't totally trust it. So it just lets you know, it's just not about people who are uninformed or uneducated in the Black community. No, it's educated people. In fact, the more educated you are, the more specific reasons you might be able to cite to have distrust.
My Take On The Coronavirus Vaccine
As a physician, as a scientist, I look at the data, I follow the research, and I look at the numbers. So first off, let's just look at COVID-19. Let's look at this pandemic and how it's affecting the Black community. Blacks are four times as likely to be hospitalized. And if you know Black people, if you have Black people in your family, or if you have Black friends, you more likely than not know of Black people who are sick enough to go to the hospital but don't go to the hospital.
Even with that, the Blacks who are going to the hospital four times as likely to be hospitalized than non-Blacks. And then let's look at this astronomical death rate from COVID-19. Blacks are almost three times as likely to die from COVID-19. So these are the facts. You want to be scared of something? COVID-19 is most definitely scary.
Pfizer Vaccine and the Moderna Vaccine
Now let's look at the vaccines. So far with the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, both have received emergency use authorization within the span of a week. And if you look at the efficacy, we're dealing with more than 94% efficacy. Meaning that if you get the COVID-19 vaccination, then there is a greater than 94% chance that you will not get the COVID-19 disease. And even if you do get the disease. There is a 100% chance that you won't get severely ill, which means you are very likely not to die.
This is science. This is the data. And we're not talking about trials where they just looked at a few people, a couple of hundred, or even a few thousand. We're talking about thousands and thousands of people. We're talking about over 30,000 people in one of these trials, over 40,000, and the other trials. And that's not even including the many other trials that are still going on.
Coronavirus Vaccine and the Black Community
So now let's talk about Black people and the trials. Yes, there were a lot of advertisements and there was a big push to try to get Blacks to be a part of the trial. Why? Because if we want to know how vaccines will work in Black bodies and in the Black community, we must have African Americans in the trials. But and understandably, a lot of African Americans were hesitant to actually get involved in the trials. But in one of the trials, there were at least 9% of participants who were Black.
And if you think about the fact that they're only about 13% Black people in the United States, 9% is not awful and it at least gives us some idea, some perspective of how the vaccine works in Black bodies. And guess what? For Blacks, the vaccine was extremely effective. So that greater than 94% efficacy, it is also applicable to the Black participants in these trials. So again, I hear people saying that the COVID-19 vaccine, we don't know enough about it. We don't know the long-term effects. And that is true because it is a new vaccine and we're not going to know until there's long-term data available, meaning months and years down the road.
But what we do know is that COVID-19 is killing members of the Black community disproportionately. It is. And so you have to ask yourself, "Are you more afraid of the COVID-19 vaccine or are you more afraid of what you've seen the COVID-19 disease doing to the Black community?" The other important issue is that where we are now in many ways actually is different from where we were years and certainly decades ago. Now we have Black scientists in the room. We have the Black scientist, Dr. Kizzy Corbett, who actually developed the COVID-19 vaccine for Moderna.
And then we have Black scientists who are on the review boards, on NIH panels. We have Black ethicists, we have Black people who are in the rooms where the major decisions are being made. Even our surgeon general is a Black man. And so, while there are still many reasons for distrust and most certainly we have to validate those. We have to recognize those. We also have to look at everything as a whole and Black scientists are in the rooms where major decisions are being made. And that should be a part of the consideration when you decide whether or not you're going to get the vaccine.
Will I Get The Coronavirus Vaccine?
Will I do it? The answer is yes. As I said, I have been following the science myself. I've been watching it and thus far things seem pretty transparent. And while a lot of people are scared of the COVID-19 vaccine, they're scared of the unknowns, just in looking at the science and looking at the people who have already been out there and who gotten the vaccine, it appears to be safe. So I certainly have more fear of the COVID-19 disease than I do of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As for people who are saying, "Well, I'm not saying I won't get the vaccine, but I want to wait and see." Well, guess what? You can wait and see me. Because as soon as it's my turn, I am going to get the vaccine. And I'm just so excited right now when I was listening to one of the interviews of Dr. Kizzy Corbett, she said that she literally had tears when she found out just how efficacious this COVID-19 vaccine was. She shed tears and I feel the same way. And I'm just so thankful for all of the scientists who have been there developing this vaccine.
Thank You To All Of Frontline Workers and People Involved In Delivering The Vaccine
And as we now know, not just right now, but doctors like Dr. Kizzy Corbett, but who've been working on it since 2014, the different types of coronaviruses even before we knew that a novel coronavirus would knock us off our feet with this pandemic. So I thank the scientists. I also thank all of the frontline healthcare providers. I thank the residents, the fellows who spend actually more time with patients than anyone else, I thank the attendings who were there, the ICU physicians. I thank the nurses, I thank the phlebotomists. I thank the custodial staff. I mean, think about it in order for us to have things in the hospital system disinfected, it takes the custodians. They are they're risking their lives. And when you have COVID-19 patients who have been in the room, we send the custodians in there to clean. So they have been on the frontline helping the rest of us to stay safe. So I thank the custodians.
I thank everyone who is involved in all of the steps of delivering these vaccines, the UPS, FedEx workers, and the pilots, all the people who are masterminding the rollout. I am just thankful for all of these folks. And I'm finally feeling that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This pandemic is something that we have not seen anything like before. When we used to quote all of the big death tolls and the major disasters that happen in the United States and around the world, they're starting to pale in comparison to the death rates related to this pandemic.
Finally, this vaccination looks like the key to getting us back to a normal life. I am so ecstatic! Yes, I will get the vaccine. And I want to thank everyone. Those of you who are sitting at home who have been listening to the medical advice of people who tell you to wear masks, to socially distance, and to exercise good hand hygiene. I know that this pandemic fatigue is real, but we are almost there.
Did a Black woman develop the COVID-19 vaccine? Yes, indeed. Dr. Kizzy Corbett lead scientist of the NIH in the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.