Last week, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Dr. Mark Finch on the Health Beat TV show on Channel 78. ,
Highly experienced and world-traveled, Finch is one of the few African American infectious disease specialist in the Bay Area. Finch and I have worked in the hospital together caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
I asked Finch the questions often posed by my patients about the COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna that were recently given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to Finch and his research from the Centers for Disease Control, the responses are as follows;
1) The COVID-19 vaccine will not give you the disease COVID-19. It allows you to develop an immune response without getting sick from COVID-19.
2) The COVID-19 vaccine will help prevent you from getting COVID-19 (The vaccine is proven to be 95% effective).
3) Although washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks are helpful, they are not enough. The vaccine will work with your immune system to fight the virus if you are exposed to it.
Vice Admiral and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and nurse Sandra Lindsay, both African American, are among the first Americans to publicly take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Leon McDougle, president of the National Medical Association, writes that “nationally, Black people are 1.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 , 4.7 times more likely to require hospitalization and 2.8 times more likely to die than whites from COVID-19 .
The National Medical Association has developed a task force to ensure that Black people are not left out of the vaccine distribution and vaccination process.
As an African American physician on the front line, and member and previous president of the NMA state chapter, I have always strived for the health and well-being of our people.
I am exposed to the virus daily and so many of you are as well.
I want to protect my children, family, patients and community. That’s why I took the vaccine and I’m glad I did it!
Remember always that your health is your wealth and when you have your health you have everything.”
For more information on COVID-19 and African Americans watch the Health Beat show Channel 78 and HeathbeatTV, you-tube) and go to blackcoalitionagainstcovid.org.
“If you knew better you could do better.”