Vaccination will save Black Lives – and That Matters!
Finally, some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel!
Community and faith leaders and key medical caregivers will gather for an open virtual forum on Covid-19 vaccine on
Tuesday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m. Billed as an honest, factual discussion, the panel will include:
– U.S. Congressman Dwight Evans
– Dr. Florence Momplaisir, MD, Asst. Professor, Univ. of Pennsylvania
– Rev. Bertram Johnson, Union Theological Seminary, New York
– Khadijah Abdullah, Reaching all HIV+ Muslims in America
– Imam Quaiser Abdullah, PhD, Asst. Professor, Temple Univ.
– Rev Dr. Donna Lawrence Jones, Cookman, Beloved Comm. Church.
– Rev. Cean R. James, Sr. Pastor, Salt & Light Church; Director, CityLights Network
“A Safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine!” That was the judgment of an overwhelming majority on the independent advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The first Covid-19 vaccine developed by American and German pharmaceutical scientists had been submitted to the FDA for emergency use just two weeks ago.
After review by the senior staff at FDA, distribution and vaccination is expected to begin by early next week.
“Most healthcare experts are in agreement that priority in that distribution should be given to African American and other minority segments of our population,” indicated Rev. Cean James, a member of the Town Hall panel next Tuesday evening and Senior Pastor of the Salt and Light Church in Southwest Philadelphia.
“It doesn’t appear that we Blacks are biologically predisposition to the disease,” Rev. James reflected. “But, data clearly shows that our minority communities I the U.S have proportionately suffered the most infection, hospitalization, and death from the virus. And, they have always had less access to medical care.”
Accordingly, Rev. James insisted, the initial supplies should be directed to protect our first-line healthcare workers and nursing home patients like those in our city neighborhoods.
Rev. James noted that currently, a disturbing 42 percent of American Blacks don’t plan to be vaccinated, according to a recent poll by the respected research center of the Pew Foundation Trust here in Philadelphia. “This means elected officials, local doctors and nurses, and pastors and other leaders in our community have to step forward to open a public dialogue on the scientific facts about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine,” added Rev. James. Hence, he indicated, the December 15 Town Hall!
The Pew survey* indicated the major reasons why the public, and especially Blacks and other minorities are wary of the vaccine: Concern over side effects (76%); Overall lack of information (72%); Don’t think they need it (31%), and; It would cost too much (13%). These concerns are over and above a traditional resistance to taking part in medical investigation (due to the well-documented “Tuskegee Experiments”) and the growing distrust of vaccinations in general.
FDA Advisory Council members did feel the accelerated development of the Pfizer-led vaccine was “a miracle! Stat News noted, however, that research scientists have been studying the “Messenger RNA” approach to vaccines for decades. This use of a small fragment of the virus to stimulate the human body to produce its own protective antibodies is also the basis for the second vaccine created by the Moderna Company of Cambridge, MA. Moderna indicates that if approved by FDA they might have 400 million doses of their vaccine by April 2021.
To register for Tuesday’s webinar at 6:30 p.m., visit the online link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/7816073627287/WN_exQcrsZvQS6CkhZhe2BU2w
A detailed, hour-by-hour report of the FDA advisor council decision-making process was prepared by Stat News with links to the data presented by Pfizer/BioNTech companies can be found online at: www.statnews.com/2020/12/10/tracking-the-fda-advisory-panel-meeting-on-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine/
*Pew Research Center Poll, Sept 17, 2020: www.pewresearch.org/science/2020/09/17