(CNN)Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Black Americans hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine to trust the process -- in part because one of the scientists at the forefront of the vaccine's development is a Black woman.
Fauci wants people to know that one of lead scientists who developed the Covid-19 vaccine is a Black woman
The nation's top infectious disease expert, speaking at an event hosted by the National Urban League on Tuesday, said it was important to acknowledge the US history of racism in medical research and understand how that has fostered mistrust among some Black people.
But Fauci stressed that the upcoming Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective, adding that African American scientists have been involved in their development.
"The very vaccine that's one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels -- 94 to 95% efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100% efficacy against serious disease that are 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," Fauci said.
Corbett is the National Institute of Health's lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research. She is part of a team that worked with the biotechnology company Moderna on one of the two mRNA vaccines expected to receive emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration this month. Pfizer's vaccine candidate is the other one.
"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," Fauci added. "And that is just a fact."
Black Americans and other people of color have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, increasing the urgency among health experts and community leaders to build confidence and trust in the vaccine.
But skepticism among some people of color, especially Black Americans, remains high.