Take the Shot
April 15, 2021
We have been hearing for some time now about the hesitancy of many Black people when it comes to taking any of the Covid-19 vaccine shots. Truth be told, in the early stages of the development of the Covid-19 vaccines, there was a general apprehension among all segments of the population, not just here in the U.S. but all around the world. Among the Black population, many have doubts about taking the vaccines. In the early days of 2020, scientists were literally shooting in the dark, as the origin of the virus was said to have started in China, and when the first cases of the virus began to spread on the west coast of the U.S, it seemed to make sense. Then cases started to emerge on the east coast, particularly in the New York City area. Between a lot of finger-pointing by politicians and even some pandemic scientists, the nation seemed like a ship on rough waters tossed around with no land in sight. Somewhere, despite all the naysayers from political and religious leaders who downplayed the seriousness of the virus, which quickly became a pandemic, level head minded people in the scientific community finally got people to listen to them and to take the pandemic seriously. Black people also listened, but appeared not to be ready to be the first in line. When people started dying by the thousands on a daily basis, the nay-sayers' voices were drowned out by those who lost loved ones to the rapidly increasing death toll from the pandemic.
Things began to improve during certain times of the year, as political and religious leaders began to call for a “return to normal” in everyday life, even though leading scientists said that was not the time to make such a move. Black people did not move in sufficient numbers to register as an ethnic group that took the pandemic seriously, according to reports. Tempers and nerves were frayed, followed by lawsuits from political and religious leaders that were stopped, only after a series of increased infections and deaths from the pandemic that had, by now, shut down much of the nation. Several vaccines would be developed in “warp speed” by pharmaceutical companies who were racing against the clock in an effort to save as many lives before the pandemic got out of control. People were hesitant to take a vaccine developed in half the time one would usually take. Many questions/doubts arose, and there were not many “volunteers” to sacrifice themselves to demonstrate the safety of the vaccines. Some did volunteer to be test subjects in the early stages, and once it appeared that the vaccines showed that they were safe, people began to take them in larger numbers, but not Black people, according to the polls. Even now, as the nation is heading to its goal of vaccinating every American by the end of summer, many in the Black community are still hesitant to take the vaccine because of America's racist and biased history. For so many Black Americans, it is a real “trust” issue.
The main concern for Black people seems to be the uncertainty of what is actually in the shot. Could it harm them or cause other health issues in the future? Black people have been used as subjects in medical experiments that they were unaware of, and the distrust remains. Many do not trust the government. Perhaps, it is the fear of death or becoming even sicker and being abandoned. Then there is the possibility of being ignorant of the science involved, not just Black people, but all people. During the development of the vaccines, we were told to “trust the science" but there were those who said to ignore the science and that things were not as bad as they seemed and that it(the pandemic)would soon go away. Trust the science. Why? God did not give us doctors/scientists for nothing. Trust God that the science will “do His Will” in us so that we may continue to live. We have gone through numerous diseases and plagues and survived because of science. We take the flu and pneumonia vaccines because we trust the science. Let us not stop now. We trust our personal doctors, as the scientists who study viruses, are doctors, but with a different title. This reporter, like many of us, is fully vaccinated. There are many more of us who are not ready to take that step. I encouraged those who have not taken the shot to do it now. It can make a difference in that you are making sure that you do not pass on or catch a deadly disease. Trust the science. More importantly, trust God.