Black Physicians & Community Leaders sign this letter to show your support.
Dear Black Community,
As Black physicians, we would like to have an honest conversation about the COVID vaccine. You must make an informed decision for yourself. We are not here to judge. We are not here to scold. We would like to talk to you to address your concerns.
We know that there has been a lot of misinformation about this vaccine. We know that there has been a lot of mistrust about this vaccine. We understand that this is a confusing and frustrating time.
The goal is for all of us to stay alive. As of today, we have lost over 450,000 people in the United States due to COVID-19. Millions more COVID-19 survivors are battling long term effects of this illness including chronic lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, and neurological disease. As we remain focused on preventing more devastation caused by the COVID-19 virus, we want to discuss your concerns. We desire to help you make an educated decision. We believe that your best option will be to take the vaccine. However, if you are worried that it is not, we want to address your concerns.
We admit that there are a lot of things that we do not know. Will the vaccine work for new COVID variants? Will we need to have the COVID-19 vaccine each year like the flu vaccine?
You can be reassured that there are many more things that we do know, such as the current vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective by following the normal process for vaccine approval. The only difference is that we are in an emergency situation, so the vaccines were approved for emergency use slightly sooner than usual.
We want you to know that we have read the studies ourselves. In fact, we had to make the same decision for ourselves and our families. In an effort to demonstrate our commitment to educating the community, some of us participated in the vaccine trials. We have also led by example and took our shot. We received the vaccine.
If you have made your decision to receive the vaccine already, that is a great option. If you still need help deciding, we encourage you to discuss it with us one-on-one in your upcoming visits to allow us to answer your questions and concerns to help you make an informed decision. We also encourage you to learn more by visiting the COVID19 Community Resources website: covid19communityresources.com
Anisa Shomo, MD
Cincinnati Medical Association
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