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Medical experts discuss COVID vaccine hesitancy in Black Americans

Local medical experts discuss COVID vaccine hesitancy in Black Americans. They offer insights...
Local medical experts discuss COVID vaccine hesitancy in Black Americans. They offer insights on the vaccines and what people of color should know about the shots.(WTOK)
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 4:57 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Local medical experts discuss COVID vaccine hesitancy in Black Americans. They offer insights on the vaccines and what people of color should know about the shots.

Many Black Americans might have concerns about the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness. A doctor at Greater Meridian Health Clinic said people may experience slight discomfort when getting the vaccine shots. He said that it’s normal.

“You will have a little pain there, and it may tingle. There is research data to show that despite all of these things, it still has a better chance of protecting you from the severe disease than everybody who is not vaccinated,” said Pediatrician Greater Meridian Health Clinic – Ernest Donkor.

Medical professionals said vaccine hesitancy among the Black, Hispanic, Native American groups, and others can complicate the decision about whether to be vaccinated.

“We have been dealing with vaccinations for a long time, especially in the pediatric population including measles, chickenpox, tetanus, and whooping cough. The COVID shot is just like one of those things. I encourage you to take your children those who qualify from ages 12 and above and get them vaccinated,” said Donkor.

5.4% of Black people have received at least the first dose, compared to 60% who are White, according to the CDC Race Data. The percentage for the total doses administrated in the black community is 38% compared to 57% in the White community.

“I think you need to get vaccinated because things go back to worse real quick. You never know of underlying health conditions that may be present that patients don’t know about, so they are sick. Be proactive instead of being reactive,” said Candice Pringle Welch - Family Nurse Practitioner.

Over 35 thousand people have had at least one dose of the vaccine in Lauderdale County - that’s 48% of the county’s population. Visit our website at WTOK VacciNATION for updated information.

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