MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One Memphis pastor is providing a health forum with a leading African-American vaccine researcher in a push to dispel fears in the black community about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“So many people have questions and anxieties and fears about the vaccine and I thought what’s the best way to assuage those fears," said Kia Moore, the pastor at The Church at the Well. "Bring the person who actually developed the vaccine.”
The leading developer for the COVID-19 vaccine is Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, who works for the National Institute of Health.
She’s at the forefront and worked with a group of scientists who studied the Moderna vaccine.
“The black community has a very valid trepidation about the medical community and I think that we should trust the facts but also seek out information and transparency from the medical community,” said Moore.
The pastor said that abusive medical tactics have fueled the mistrust between the African-American community and medical professionals.
“Millennials particularly elder millennials, we are the grandchildren of people who lived through the Tuskegee experiment, people who are familiar with Henrietta Lacks’ story. They kept her cells and she died of cancer.”
Black, Hispanic and Native Americans are dying from COVID at nearly three times the rate of white Americans according to a CDC prevention analysis.
According to a Kaiser Health News analysis, in 16 states that have released data by race, white residents are being vaccinated at significantly higher rates that black residents.
“With the vaccine that Dr. Kizzmekia released there were no serious side effects, no one got severe cases of COVID and there were no deaths that were linked to the vaccine.”
Moore said that while the pandemic is terrible, Dr. Corbett is one of the glimmers of hope.
“We move into 2021 and we see a Kizzmekia Corbett who’s leading the charge with integrity and transparency that is rebuilding the trust of African-Americans with the medical community. I just think it’s beautiful to watch.”
Corbett will speak in a virtual forum Sunday January 31st at 12:15 p.m. on the We Make Wells Facebook page.