The University of Alabama at Birmingham Minority Health and Research Center has partnered with Birmingham based minority health company Acclinate on an NIH funded initiative to produce a video series addressing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. The video series titled “Real Talk About COVID-19 and Vaccines” includes interviews with Dr. Selwyn Vickers, Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean of the School of Medicine at UAB. The purpose of this series is to pick the brains of these experts by asking them common questions about the newly released vaccines like “how safe are they?” and “when can the average person expect to receive the vaccine?”
Dr. Selwyn Vickers is a world renown pancreatic surgeon and has served as the Dean of the School of Medicine at UAB, one of the 10 largest public academic medical centers in the nation, since 2013. He earned baccalaureate and medical degrees from Johns Hopkins University and completed two postgraduate research fellowships with the National Institutes of Health and training at John Radcliffe Hospital of Oxford University, England, and was an instructor of surgery at Johns Hopkins for one year. Dr. Vickers continues to see patients while conducting research and has had continuous NIH extramural funding for the past 25 years.
“Most of our vaccines are met with skepticism dating back to the 1930s with penicillin and on to bypass surgeries and whenever we discuss something new,” explains Dr. Vickers. “Typically, when we discuss vaccine participations, it can take two to three years to get the required participants to engage in vaccine research; but in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, it only two to three years. This is impressive, sound science.”
What Dr. Vickers has experienced with the COVID-19 vaccine is a clear, soup-to-nuts approach to address this vaccine and developing a blueprint on how to mimic and annihilate this virus.