||COVID-19 Scientific Interest Group
Dr. Jefferson Shah, a former NIAID fellow, is an assistant professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine. An allergist-immunologist, she also sees patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Since the first U.S. laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 was documented by the CDC on January 22, 2020, there have been over 31 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 560,000 deaths. Black people account for 14.90f all COVID-19 deaths (down from 22 0n fall 2020), and overall Black, Latin, and Indigenous communities have borne disproportionate COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Why? Underlying health disparities and social determinants of health play a large role. Less access to COVID-19 testing and medical care, as well as an inability in many instances to socially distance (e.g. front-line or essential workers). During a time of racial reckoning in America, COVID-19 has underscored persistent systemic racism across every American sector, including health care and biomedical research. Historically, Black Americans, and other communities of color, have been excluded from opportunities for good health because of a broken system. During this time of rapid scientific discovery that will have long-lasting impacts on the health of the nation, a commitment to equity and inclusivity is essential to ensure historically marginalized groups are not again left behind. Dr. Jefferson Shah will discuss these issues based on her personal experience and research.
For more information go to https://oir.nih.gov/sigs/covid-19-scientific-interest-group