DALLAS - Bishop T.D. Jakes used his national platform to hold a conversation with America about the distrust surrounding COVID-19 vaccines -- especially in minority communities.
A recent survey found four in 10 people are skeptical about the vaccines and there is even more hesitancy among Black people in the country.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was a featured virtual speaker along with Onyema Oguabu, Yale School of Medicine and Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, National Institutes of Health lead scientist on coronavirus vaccines.
"All of us are pleading with the brown and Black people to please get vaccinated for your own safety and for your community’s safety," Fauci said.
Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House, led the conversation and asked Corbett why people should trust the vaccine.
"What you're seeing here is something that not only has previous vaccine development shown us, but as we're collecting data it’s very clear that long-term side effects are not something to be worried about," Corbett said.
Jakes asked the experts what can them and their peers could do to improve the level of trust people of color have in the health system overall and with the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Really just finding ways to communicate in language that people understand within the appropriate cultural context- to get that message out about the role that vaccines play in public health to control diseases and eradicate epidemics," Oguabu said.
"We have to respect the skepticism in the African American population about federal government medical programs," Fauci said. "You can’t walk away from that. It’s a shameful history that we have to just deal with."
Fauci repeatedly reinforced that no shortcuts were taken in developing the COVID-19 vaccines and that safety and effectiveness is determined by independent scientists before FDA grants approval.
"So we can look the African American community in the face and say the whole process was both transparent and independent," Fauci said.