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Encouraging minority groups to get vaccinated

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 18:21:10-05

Vaccine roll outs are underway and ramping up and some communities, especially African American and Hispanic communities, have doubts about the vaccine because of past government actions.

In the 30s and 40s, the federal government held back medical treatment for the Black and brown community. They believed they were getting a treatment for syphilis, but they were given placebos instead.

Mike Rogers, an African American representing Anne Arundel County, wants to show to those who have their doubts the vaccine is safe.

"Demonstrating through leadership that it is important so that we can make this the beginning to the end," he said.

Rogers is a former medical service corp officer and colonel in the Army and has done his research to ease the concerns of others.

"I've talked to the medical experts and I feel comfortable and I think it's important that we tell that story," he said.

Anne Arundel County health commissioner, Nilesh Kalyanaraman, says the drug companies have done their work as well.

"I think what's really important about the trials, Moderna and Pfizer they include African Americans and Hispanics...which is a lot of greater representation than has historically happened in vaccine trials."

Delegate Rogers acknowledges that there are those that still have their doubts about these vaccines and he's looking for ways to remove those doubts.

We will do that by people such as myself and others going and getting that vaccine to show that it is okay and again, to follow that science where it leads us.

Doctors also remind us that by getting the vaccine, we help everyone. If everyone gets the vaccine, that will help build up the "herd immunity". If enough people don't get the vaccine, then the disease may just continue to flourish in society.

"It's not going to happen overnight, but we need to keep talking about and understanding what those issues are and addressing them."