Since last month was Black History Month, and now in March, Women’s History Month, it is fitting to acknowledge the African Americans on the front lines. This past year has caused an uprise in the Black Lives Matter movement, as many innocent African Americans have been killed by police brutality and systemic racism. Not only did 2020 face the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a racist pandemic. Last year, with the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude, Ahmaud Arbery, and many more Black lives lost from racism, revealed a need to change the internalized racism still seen in the government.
Not only do African Americans face discrimiantion and racism from society, they also face food, health care, and socioeconomic disparities. With the deadly COVID-19 pandemic still prevalent today, these disparities disproportionately affect the African American community compared to other ethnic groups. African Amerians are more likely to get infected with COVID-19 and die due to underlying health conditions, which stem from these disparities. It is essential to represent these communities who are at risk of contracting the virus, and that is what Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is doing as she closely works with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Corbett is an immunologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is making major headliners for her significant role in developing the vaccine, saving millions of lives. Dr. Corbett has been recognized by Dr. Fauci describing her goals and accomplishments with the vaccine: “Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine.” Dr. Corbett is also working closely with Black communities, to inform vaccine hesitant citizens, and encouraging proper hygienic practices to minimize the spread of the virus. Her hard work and dedication to saving the world from this deadly virus, while using her platform to inform and encourage citizens to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
In society, it is still evident that women of color do not receive the recognition and appreciation they deserve. Dr. Corbett is just one of millions of women of color, contributing to help the world become a better place and combating this deadly pandemic. Whether or not we decide to receive the vaccine, it is important to remember the people who put their own lives at risk to save people around the world.