On Thursday, May 19, we heard from three phenomenal doctors during our webinar titled “Advocacy In Action: African-American Physicians In The Fight Against Covid-19.” During the event, Rachel Villanueva, M.D., Camille D. Walker, MD., and K. Torian Easterling, M.D., MPH, tackled tough questions about the ongoing pandemic, particularly how it plagues communities and people of color.
Here are some enlightening answers the medical panelists shared during the webinar that, in turn, debunked common myths about the COVID-19 virus and vaccine.
Myth: It is unsafe for pregnant women to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: “The ongoing studies definitely show that there are benefits for everyone, but definitely for pregnant women—not only for the pregnancy but also for the baby. It is better to take the COVID vaccine.” Dr. Camille D. Walker
Myth: Everyone is going to catch COVID-19. There is no point in trying to avoid it or get vaccinated.
Fact: “No one should leave it up to chance,” says Dr. Rachel Villanueva. “We don’t know all of the long-term effects. We have just scratched the surface of the effects it can have on your lungs, on your brain, on your cardiovascular system, and really on every system in your body. You shouldn’t leave it up to chance because you don’t know how your body will specifically react to COVID-19, especially if you’re unvaccinated. We should all get vaccinated, those two doses plus a booster. Research is showing that getting that vaccination helps prevent against those long-term COVID effects.”
Myth: There is no reason to mistrust medical practices in America.
Fact: “This historical trauma of being a part of the African-American community or part of the diaspora is true. We connect to those historical traumas. We don’t have to go back to Tuskegee; there are contemporary injustices,” said Dr. K. Torian Easterling. “If I can validate your concerns and then ask what those concerns are specifically, we can hopefully move forward. Is it a safety issue? Is it about the effectiveness? Listening and responding, and connecting can make all the difference.”
Myth: The pandemic is over, and infection rates are going down.
Fact: “Right now, I can tell you that cases are rising. Hospitalizations are rising. So, it’s very important that we exercise all caution, “said Dr. K. Torian Easterling. “Right now, we have to be diligent. We have to make sure that we’re wearing our masks indoors. And the federal government just announced that another round of at-home tests are available. Get tested!”
Click here for the full webinar recording.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including vaccine locations, visit vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
Additionally, please join us for our next virtual event on Friday, June 17 at 12 p.m.. We will come together as a community to celebrate the end of our school year and hear from our incredible partners about the important work happening across Newark’s South Ward. Please register here.