As Black American public health professionals, we know that one pervasive question for Black Americans today is, “So, are you getting the COVID vaccine?”
As the COVID-19 pandemic expands at an exponential pace among the world’s population, it is increasingly clear that we are all in this together and need to work hard to cultivate a sense of global community. Our connected world has achieved decades of unprecedented prosperity and health gains. Through connectedness at many levels, including trade, industry, education, research, services and travel/hospitality, humanity has, indeed, become a global village. It is this same connectedness, augmented by a dramatic increase in international travel over the past decade, that facilitated the rapid spread of COVID-19 to all corners of the world. Now, we must use this same connectivity to mount a sustainable, comprehensive, global response to the pandemic.
One of the biggest challenges in international development is anticipating when the next pandemic health threat will strike and how we can minimize its damage. Pandemics can be unpredictable, and it is hard to know when and where to focus attention. Having safe, effective drugs ready to use when they are needed saves lives. Clinical trials, which focus on safety and efficacy, are pivotal to the development of these drugs.