FAIRMOUNT - There is growing concern over the COVID vaccine and the issue is the vaccine is taking longer than anticipated. Some are trying everything they can to keep it moving and get as many people vaccinated as possible. One group actively participating in moving the vaccine along is the Black Doctors Consortium.
They came on foot, in cars and in large numbers to Girard College in the city’s Fairmount neighborhood on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for COVID-19 testing.
"I lost my mother-in-law last year to COVID. It’s personal and real important for me to know what’s going on. Know what I \mean," asked Tony Mapp.
In any other day, on the MLK holiday, Girard would be a place for ceremonies marking the achievements of the slain civil rights leader. Instead the focus turned to the deadly virus ravaging communities of color.
500 were tested, but the head of a group of Black doctors battling the virus for months believes vaccinations are the way out among people where skepticism is high.
"It really depends where you’re giving it, who’s giving it and the trust that they have in those individuals," stated Dr. Ala Stanford, Founder of the Black Doctors Consortium.
The Black Doctors Consortium began vaccinating in North Philadelphia over the weekend of January 15 and found concerns over taking the vaccine slip away as 1,000 took the shot over two days and 9,000 people signed up.
"It’s access. It’s trust. It’s all the things that widen health disparity gaps that are so pervasive in our nation," Dr. Stanford remarked.
Vaccinations are also being limited by a sluggish national rollout of doses, leaving large vaccination sites with just a few hundred doses to inject.
Tracie Taylor is a diabetic who tested for COVID Monday and wants the vaccine as soon as she can get it.
"I’m a little anxious because you don’t know what the side effects are. Everybody’s different, but I will get it. Better safe than sorry," Taylor explained.
The Black Doctors Consortium expect to vaccinate twice this week with at least 1,000 doses.
Mapp, fearing an exposure to COVID-19, is all in.
"I’m definitely going to get it. Only hesitation is I have a fear of needles, but I’ll work through that," Mapp commented.
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