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Let me begin this article by stating this is not going to be an article to try to "convince" or "criticize" you the reader or anyone else to take or not take the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as it begins to be rolled out in East Texas across the country. This article is meant to clearly help you understand the "apprehension" many Americans (especially African-Americans) feel about it.

According to a poll done by The Undefeated, HALF of Black adults are not planning to take a vaccine.

Half of Black adults are not planning to take a coronavirus vaccine once one becomes available, even if scientists declare it safe, and it’s available for free, according to a new survey on race and health by The Undefeated and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The fear that many Americans feel about this vaccine is based in the long and ugly history of America's medical research on Black people. Its a mistrust that's been confirmed by the stories of the Tuskegee Airmen, Henrietta Lacks and disproportionate treatment of African Americans in medical communities across the country.

With mixed messages from government officials and social media contributing to the noise, its a fear that is real and has to be understood....but its also imperative that we get a better understanding of this vaccine and its effects.

Understand that many of us have never seen anything like this in our lifetime. While I personally trust modern medical science and also understand that the global medical community put together an unprecedented effort to find a vaccine to this virus, including the fact that a BLACK doctor, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, helped develop the vaccine, even as I write this, I would be lying if I said I totally trusted it.

Also, HISTORY has taught me and others to not totally trust anything that may feel "rushed' to us. Especially when you factor in everything I mentioned above.

COVID-19 has done huge damage to the Black community and helping most of us overcome that fear is going to be a real challenge. According to NBC News:

By almost every metric, be it increased unemploymentdiminished academic performance or exposure to pre-existing conditions that put a person at a greater risk of getting sick, the virus and its economic fallout have often affected Black Americans more severely than other groups.

With this pandemic doing as much damage as its done, its time for all of us, including the medical community, to recognize and come to terms with this fear and do what it takes to help everyone understand that IF this vaccine is safe, then we must do what it takes to alleviate those fears before its too late.

Will you be taking the COVID-19 vaccine? Do you trust it?

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