SARS-CoV-2 is the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 that first started in Wuhan, China in Late 2019 (Center for Disease Control, 2020). It was not until mid-December of 2020 or early January of 2021 for some states that a vaccine was created. There are over 5 different strains of vaccines with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine being the most popular and recommended. The FDA evaluated and analyzed the safety of these vaccines and after clinical trials, they were deemed as 94% effective in all adults (CDC, 2020). Now that an effective vaccine was created, the problem for doctors was administering it to the Black community.
The Black community has been very hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine because of tragic historical events where the government was dishonest and manipulative, such as in the Tuskegee experiment. In September of 1932, the public health service in Tuskegee, Alabama recruited 600 Black men to test them for “bad blood” (CDC, 2020). In reality, it was to run an experiment with human subjects to study the progression of syphilis in Black males. About 399 of them were suffering from syphilis and the other 201 were used as the controlled group in this human experiment (CDC, 2020). These men were unaware that they had just volunteered for one of America’s most unethical and controversial medical studies. This lasted for 40 years and has greatly impacted the Black community to this date. For this reason, the government has been advocating for Black government officials and well-known celebrities to get the vaccine.
Tracy, a Black woman who works in a Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, has received both dosages of the vaccine and urges you to get it too. She described her vaccine experience as “safe, needed, and effective because I feel like the vaccination provided another level of protection and is the first step to going back to normalcy.” Her job provided the vaccine to her; the waiting period was short for both dosages. The first dosage gave her a small fever, the second one left her with dreadful body aches, and caused her to be very tired; she expressed “it felt like having the flu.” Months have gone by and she still feels confident in her choice of getting the vaccine she states she feels safer and “maybe one-day society will go back to normal.”
Darranetta, a dental assistant, wanted to get the vaccine to ensure the safety of her children and lessen the risk of being infected while on the job. On June 1st of 2020 she caught COVID-19 while pregnant. She stated, “I already got Corona once so to prevent me from getting it again and giving it to my child, I need all the protection I can get.” After she requested an appointment she was scheduled for her first dosage a week later. Her Pfizer vaccine was administered at Timonium Fairgrounds; her visit was “pleasant, very organized, and fast-paced.” She believes that if everyone were to get the vaccine it would help decrease Covid rates providing hope for us to return to normal. She states “it’s not full protection but it’s something. It won’t make me immune but it will minimize the effect of the virus.”
More and more people are getting the vaccine in hopes that we could go back to normal. Researchers know that many people are hesitant to get the vaccine but, that’s why they’re trying to be transparent and consistent. The CDC provides information on side effects, types of vaccines, Covid prevention, quarantining if infected, and many more helpful facts. To beat the odds we, have to take chances to protect you, me, and everyone else. We are approaching a year of being in a pandemic because of a virus that created chaos and complicated life; with the opportunity to kill the virus, why won’t you take the chance?
Center for Disease Control. (2020, March 02). The Tuskegee Timeline. Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm
Center for Disease Control. (2021, March 04). Different covid-19 vaccines. Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html