Soon after the one of the first COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta last month, Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, the president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), took a seat next to Sanjay Gupta, MD, the nationally known surgeon and medical correspondent, to get their shots while news cameras rolled. They then held a televised conversation to allay the fears of others.
Rice said she understood why some of her fellow Black Americans are wary about the safety of the first COVID-19 vaccines, given the history of racial deception in medical research. She stressed that Black scientists and doctors helped to develop the vaccines and sat on the federal advisory boards that recommended their approval for public use.
"We are in the rooms where it's happening," Rice said after she and Gupta received the Pfizer vaccine. "So, we clearly are not going to go against ourselves, because we understand how critical this is for Black America and Latinx America, who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus."