Two weeks ago my aunt sent me a text message, “I’m scheduled to get the vaccine next week, but I’m scared. Do you have time to chat?”
Since the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines, impromptu informational phone calls with family and friends have become routine for me. As a Black woman and first-generation medical student, I’ve learned to seamlessly switch between my roles as a student and the sole science communicator of my family. Between my own and my family’s experiences, I have a long list of stories that validate my community’s distrust in the medical institution. So, when my aunt said she was nervous about the vaccine, I understood her fear, but I also didn’t want her to miss her shot — just like I don’t want Black communities across the nation to miss theirs.
Data shows that 1 in 735 Black people and 1 in 595 Indigenous Peoples have died from COVID-19 in the United States. Among white people, one in 1,030 have died. Studies have also shown that nonwhite people are dying from COVID at younger ages compared to white people. Some of these are preventable deaths that have been driven by systemic racism manifested as intergenerational household status, limited access to health care, health comorbidity risk, and inadequate testing access, among others.
Read the complete article at: Teen Vogue