The National Black Nurses Association applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for its leadership in directing the oversight of the approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine by the Federal Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NBNA is the only professional African American/Black nursing association that represents over 308,000 registered nurses, 11,000 LPNs/LVNs, and nursing students many of whom are frontline health care professionals treating those with COVID-19.
The promise of this new vaccine is a welcome option to help control and potentially end this pandemic. We appreciate the efforts of the pharmaceutical companies, vaccine clinical trial volunteers, the review process and the federal government assurance that this vaccine was developed and ready for distribution. We are indeed hopeful that communities of color that bear a huge burden of disease will benefit from this vaccine.
Dr. Martha A. Dawson, RN, FACHE, NBNA President stated that “our members have played an essential role in monitoring the development of the vaccine by interviewing scientists from major pharmaceutical companies, serving on key HHS planning and implementation committees, providing education to members, professional organizations and producing public service announcements. One of the key roles that NBNA played was to help ensure that all citizens have access to the vaccine.” She noted that this vaccine will be available to all at no cost.
NBNA provides leadership to advance nursing practice, improve health care for all Americans, particularly the unserved and the underserved, and to help shape health policy for access and delivery of health care services. We stand ready to assist the public in understanding the COVID-19 vaccines.
The NBNA mission is “to serve as the voice for Black nurses and diverse populations ensuring equal access to professional development, promoting educational opportunities and improving health.” NBNA chapters offer voluntary hours providing health education and screenings to community residents in collaboration with community-based partners, including faith-based organizations, civic, fraternal, hospitals, and schools of nursing.