A Black nurse was one of the first people who received the COVID-19 vaccine in New York on Monday morning.
“I feel hopeful today,” said Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at New York’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Lindsay received the dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine during a livestream with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Lindsay is among a growing number of Black healthcare workers using their voices and their bodies to help restore trust among Black community members, who are rightfully distrustful of the vaccine. Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, an immunologist, is one of the leading researchers who helped discover a vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci recently amped up the calls to highlight Dr. Corbett’s work as part of this important process.
Black people in America are three times more likely to contract the virus and among the disproportionate population dying from COVID-19.
Last week, a Black ER physician named Dr. Kaedrea Jackson wrote an op-ed for the New York Daily News detailing her experience as a frontline worker while also arguing for the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
“Taking the vaccine is doing something that I believe in — in terms of the science, but also being able to show others that we can do this. People like you are going to take the vaccine, and you can use me as an example to see what happens. COVID devastated us, and something needs to be done to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Jackson wrote.
A group of Black doctors also weighed in on the alarming rates by which Black are dying from COVID-19, by writing a love letter to Black America, explaining why Black community members should be among the first to take the vaccine.
Over the summer a Black Georgia news anchor named Dawn Baker was one of the first people to participate in a clinical trial.
COVID-19 deaths have surged as health officials warned a bleak outlook for the winter months due to decreases in social distancing and an increase in holiday travel. To date, the U.S. is approaching 300,000 deaths from COVID-19. Officials warn that 500,000 people could die by March.
Over the weekend, the FDA approved the emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine where healthcare workers and nursing home residents will be among the first to receive the vaccine. The rollout of the vaccine spurred conversation around when Black community members will receive the vaccine due to how disproportionately Black communities suffer.