April is National Minority Health Month. The Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health announced #VaccineReady as this year’s theme. The focus is on educating and empowering communities to share accurate facts about Covid-19 vaccines, participate in clinical trials, get vaccinated when the time comes and practice Covid-19 safety measures.
In addition, the last week in April is World Immunization Week and the theme is “Vaccines Bring Us Closer,” drawing on the hope that Covid-19 vaccination will help us get life back to normal and bring the pandemic to an end.
Unfortunately, not everyone is excited about getting a vaccine. This “vaccine hesitancy” is more prevalent among minority populations, where systemic social inequities have greatly increased barriers in obtaining affordable, high-quality health care.
An Associated Press – NORC poll in December 2020 revealed that only half of Americans plan to get the Covid-19 vaccine. And, even though Covid-19 has killed or hospitalized more Blacks and Hispanics than White Americans, just 24% of Black Americans and 34% of Hispanics say they will get vaccinated.
Even before the Covid-19 vaccine rollout began, our Bayless team helped to educate patients about myths and other false information that have been circulating on social media or among family and friends. Here is what we do know:
- Studies show the vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting Covid-19 and helping you from getting seriously ill if you do.
- It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection against Covid-19.
- The Covid-19 vaccines cannot make you sick with Covid-19 – none of the authorized vaccines or vaccines in production contain the live virus that causes Covid-19.
- The authorized vaccines cannot cause you to test positive on a viral test. If your body develops an immune response you may test positive for an antibody test.
- Even if you have had Covid-19, you should still get vaccinated after recovering.
- Covid-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
- There is currently no evidence that the Covid-19 vaccination interferes or causes problems with pregnancy or fertility.
What we don’t know
So far, millions have received a Covid-19 vaccine and according to the CDC, the vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. However, we are still learning how long the Covid-19 vaccines will protect people and how effective the vaccines are against new variants. Early data show the vaccines do help keep people with no symptoms from spreading Covid-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
Vaccination is a vital step in ending the pandemic that cannot be achieved without accessible and equal healthcare for all groups. This National Minority Health Month, we encourage people from all populations to get the facts about vaccines and do your part to bring the pandemic to an end.
New patients can call Bayless Integrated Healthcare at 602-777-6337 for a free, 15-minute wellness consultation. You can also click here to make an appointment online. Remember, if you are experiencing a crisis, please call 911 immediately.