GREENSBORO, N.C. — Monday is the first day of Black History Month. In our 2 Your Well-Being, we’re talking about the COVID-19 vaccine and historical mistrust in the African American community.
Cone Health's Chief of Health Equity & Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alvin Powell said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows COVID-19 is prevalent among Blacks and African Americans. African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to get COVID-19, 3.7 times more likely to be hospitalized from the virus, and are 2.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19. Inequities in the social determinants of health, such as poverty and healthcare access, affecting these groups are interrelated and influence a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
Powell wants everyone to know the vaccine is safe and effective. This vaccine was produced at a fast speed but no steps were skipped.
For people that still don't trust the vaccine, Powell recommends talking to someone you trust like your pastor or your doctor. You can also look up information on the vaccine from the CDC and the World Health Organization.
Powell said there are plans in the works to make the vaccine more accessible. That includes holding more vaccine clinics at places where the community gathers like a church or a recreation center and establishing a vaccine truck that can drive to certain areas.
Powell said we need to roll up our sleeves and get the vaccine. It is up to us to not only get vaccinated but to reach out to others to make sure they know the facts and get vaccinated as well.