In an effort to address the COVID-19 vaccination concerns of the Black community, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told attendees at a National Urban League event that the vaccine was developed under the leadership of a Black woman. 

Speaking at the event on Tuesday, Fauci attempted to dissolve the common mistrust of the vaccine by saying that it has been researched thoroughly and developed under the leadership of immunologist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a Black 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," Fauci said. "And that is just a fact."

Corbett, who is the National Institute of Health's lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research, has been working with the biotechnology company, Moderna, to develop one of the two mRNA vaccines, as Blavity previously reported.

“The very vaccine that’s one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels — 94 to 95 percent efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100 percent 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.

According to a study by the COVID Collaborative, only 14 percent of Black Americans said they trust the safety of the vaccine. The data also showed that 18 percent of Black Americans believe the vaccine will be effective. 

Fauci acknowledged the history of racism in medicine, which has caused mistrust in the Black community. He also noted the concerns of people who are worried about the speed at which the vaccines were developed. But the doctor continued to emphasize the safety of the latest medicine.

"When they then say that the vaccine is safe and effective, I will tell you all that I, myself, will be perfectly comfortable in taking the vaccine and I will recommend it to my family," he said.

Corbett said it will take time to get the Black community's trust, but the public should continue 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," she told CNN.

She added that trust has to be rebuilt in a "brick-by-brick fashion."

"What I say to people firstly is that I empathize, and then secondly is that I’m going to do my part in laying those bricks," Corbett said, according to The Hill. "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.”

As Blavity previously reported, CDC data shows that Black, Hispanic and Native American people infected with COVID-19 are nearly four times more likely to be hospitalized than whites. The pandemic is also killing Black and Hispanic at a higher rate, CNN reported

According to The New York Times, The Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer vaccine on Friday, setting a path for an initial shipment of about 2.9 million doses which will be distributed around the country next week.