By: April Ryan, The Grio
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris made a plea to the public at the United Medical Center in Southeast Washington D.C., a predominantly Black community, where she received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine. TheGrio was on the ground as the vice president-elect emphasized that the vaccine is about saving lives, saying, “I trust the scientists and it’s the scientists who created and approve the vaccine … I urge everyone when it’s your turn to get vaccinated.”
Harris addressed the press at the hospital’s auditorium that became a makeshift vaccination hospital room. She sat in a standard mint green hospital recliner that was accompanied by a hospital room table that had tissues and hand sanitizer visible as she received the vaccination from nurse Patricia Cummings, a Guyana born immigrant to the United States.
Vice President-elect Harris said the vaccine was “relatively painless.” She added, “It is safe … literally this is about saving lives.”
The venue and the backdrop of her public vaccination was no coincidence. It is meant to combat the mistrust in minority communities with medical trials and other health disparity matters. As it relates to the COVID-19 vaccination, which is still in the trial phase for Moderna and Pfizer, theGrio asked Harris specifically about the issue of minority mistrust of the vaccine.
“I’m [here] today because first of all we have phenomenal healthcare providers like Patricia who serve the community and we have hospitals and medical centers and clinics like these all over the country who are staffed by people who understand the community, who often come from the community and who administer all-year-round trusted healthcare,” said Harris.
“I want to remind people that right in your community is where you can take the vaccine, where you will receive a vaccine by folks you may know. Folks who work in the same hospital where your children may have been born. Folks who work in the same hospital where an elderly relative received the kind of care that they needed.”
On hand for the event was Dr. Talal M. Nsouli, the director of the Watergate & Burke Allergy and Asthma Centers. He further discussed the success of the vaccine saying out of the 2 million people who have taken the vaccine in medical trials and in the disbursement of the emergency use authorization, “only four people had allergic reactions.”