Black scientist shares inspiring message after helping design COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Lives are about to be saved’
One of the virologists who helped develop Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine stood outside the company's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts to convey a message of hope when the first doses were given on Monday.
Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D., a 34-year-old virology researcher, celebrated the achievement on Instagram, writing, "Today people are being vaccinated with a vaccine that I woke up on Jan 11 to desperately help design."
"I remember the day in February when mRNA-1273 came into our lab at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center and mice were waiting in the basement for their injections," she recalled. “At that point in time, we were aiming for a 100-day Phase 1 clinical trial, with no idea that the virus would spread into a pandemic. 66 days passed after the virus sequence was released, and the first human was injected with the vaccine in a phase 1 study. "
Now, nine months and 76,000,000 COVID-19 cases worldwide, people are being given the vaccine as part of an emergency authorization. “Lives are saved. Hospitals will be less overwhelmed. The normal times are slowly starting all over again, ”she said.
The scientist humorously added that she could rent off the steps to throw a party.
People took note of Corbett's comments to show how inspired they were with her contribution. "Black girl magic ... let's go," wrote one person. "I can't wait to tell my daughter about you!" someone added. "Look, there is a queen who saves our lives. Blessings to you," commented another user.
On Twitter, Meena Harris, writer and niece of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, shared a picture of Corbett along with a quote from her post that she called "the best I've read all day."
Other commentators expressed their appreciation for the virologist, whom she referred to as a "heroine".
While some have expressed skepticism about the vaccine, Corbett and many of her colleagues are doing a double job to allay fears, especially in the black community. A poll by the Pew Research Center in June found that 54 percent of black adults showed confidence in the vaccine, while 44 percent still showed suspicion. After the Pfizer vaccine was launched last week, the first person to get it was a black woman, a nurse, and their first dose was given by a black woman.
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