In honor of this Black History Month’s theme - Black Health and Wellness - we would like to highlight two African American women who have had a huge impact on the health and wellness of the United States throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a viral immunologist and was the scientific lead of the Vaccine Research Center’s coronavirus team at the U.S. National Institutes of Health until June 2021. Corbett was instrumental in the development of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 and has worked to lessen vaccine hesitancy through education and transparency. In an interview with Nature, she said “For a long time, we left the general public on the outside of vaccine development until it was time to give them their shot. And that’s just unacceptable. I can’t even blame anyone for being skeptical about this, because they don’t have any idea what went into it. Read more about Corbett here.
Dr. Sandra Lindsay is a nurse and the director of patient care services for critical health at Northwell Health, a healthcare provider in New York that was hit hard by COVID-19. Lindsay led (and leads) teams of nurses as they cared for COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic. However, she is best known for being the first American to receive the COVID vaccine. She did so on December 14, 2020 and has been a vocal advocate for vaccines in the year-plus that has followed. Read more about her here.