Multicultural Health Foundation Hosts Panel To Dispel COVID Vaccine Myths
Speaker 1: 00:00 A recent survey in San Diego County found that when people were asked, if they'd get the COVID vaccine, about 20% of white, Hispanic, and Asian people said, no, that number doubled to nearly 40% among black people who were asked to address why the hesitancy exists and dispel myths. The multicultural health foundation will be holding a panel discussion called don't hesitate to vaccinate. Dr. Rodney hood is president and chairman of the multicultural health foundation. He is also a physician and expert on health disparities, medical history, and racism and medical care. Dr. Hood. Welcome. Thank you very much. You are on the panel with the multicultural health foundation. Tell me about that panel and what you all hope to achieve. Speaker 2: 00:46 We, uh, hope to continue to do outreach, uh, to the San Diego community, especially the minority community on stay in safe, uh, during a COVID and actually, uh, vaccinations. There's a significant health, uh, hesitancy, uh, in the community as a whole, but especially with African-Americans. And so the panel is designed to, uh, bring knowledge and education and try to answer some of the questions that would begin to diminish the hesitant. Speaker 1: 01:18 And why do you think that hesitancy exists? Speaker 2: 01:21 I think it's a multifactorial and I think it differs from one community to the other. We have three groups of individuals, as far as a vaccine. We've got, I call them vaccine acceptors. So there are those of us who are not hesitant, uh, just showed the access and, uh, and, and where it is and they'll take it. Then we got the hesitancy group and part of that hesitancy group is what I call vaccine objective. So for religious reasons or whatever reasons they, they, uh, are not going to take the vaccine. And, uh, we want to have a message for all three groups. I think there's a history in this, uh, country, uh, especially in the African-American community where the blacks have not been treated well in the, uh, health system. There have been inhumane, uh, experimentations done on a black folks. Uh, people talk about Tuskegee and that is usually mentioned. However many people are not even sure what that means, but they know it's bad, but it really predates Tuskegee where there were multiple inhumane, uh, experiments specifically on African Americans. There's a book by Harriet Washington, a medical apartheid that actually describes many of these. And because of that legacy, I think is the reason why it's so high in African-American community. They just don't trust the health system. Don't trust scientists. And, uh, many times just don't trust doctors. Speaker 1: 02:51 Um, and you know, I want to turn now a bit to, to the disparities that exist the health disparities when it comes to COVID, you know, why is COVID spreading faster in the black and Brown communities? Speaker 2: 03:06 Hmm, there's a saying in the black community, is that when white folks catch a cold black folks catch pneumonia and, uh, what was meant by that is usually when something, uh, happens, uh, whether it's health or otherwise, uh, the, uh, black community tends to, uh, get effected by it more. And it's many factors, uh, let's talk about social determinants. So, uh, the, uh, population that is more vulnerable to these infections because of their living conditions, multi-generational living conditions, the more blacks tend to live in more urban areas, and it's not a spread out. So this is an infectious disease. And so the closer intimacy you have in populations, the easier it is to spread. So that's one reason. Another reason is, uh, blacks have excessive health disparities with comorbidities. They tend to have more diabetes, obesity, asthma, cardiovascular disease. And although that does not cause them to catch it as easier, but if they do catch it, those comorbidities put them at a much greater risk of developing more severe disease winding up in the hospital in death. So, um, um, I think it's, for all those reasons, uh, that you see at higher in the African-American community, it is not genetics. Um, I often get asked, is there something, uh, in the genes of blacks that caused that in the answer is no, uh, it, it is a motion, mostly the social determinants. Uh, we see that in the Latino, um, population as well, as a matter of fact, here in San Diego, the notes, um, are probably number one in, uh, getting, uh, the infection for the same reason. Speaker 1: 04:58 And, you know, earlier you mentioned that some people are reluctant to get the vaccine. One reason I've heard is because of allergic reactions. What do people need to know about allergic reactions to the coronavirus vaccine? Speaker 2: 05:11 So, uh, yes, with this new Corona virus vaccine that have been reported right now, there are two that have been approved, uh, the Pfizer vaccine and the modern vaccine, both of them are what we call messenger, RNA vaccines. Um, and, um, um, uh, I, I don't really see a significant difference between the two, as far as efficacy that both 94, 95% effective. Um, and, uh, but both of them, we have seen, uh, people have allergic reactions. Uh, so, uh, if, if indeed you already know you have a history of allergies, especially allergy, um, the type of allergy, we call it NFL lactic reaction, where you have to take epinephrin or have epi pen it's best that you have a discussion with your provider prior to getting the a vaccine, but that does not mean you should not get it. So that's why you should have that conversation. Speaker 1: 06:13 New variants of this virus. Are there any concerns about the effectiveness of the current vaccines Speaker 2: 06:19 Right now? The current one that we're dealing with is about 94, 95% effective with the variants. It may be decreased that effectiveness to less than 94, 95%, but not below the level that we would still call effective. But yes, that is a worry, we do need to continue to monitor and see how well the population does, uh, as they get these, uh, variances to, um, see how effective they are. Speaker 1: 06:53 You know, if someone wants to get a vaccination, what should they do? Speaker 2: 06:56 There are many options. First of all, uh, contact your, a provider. The other option is to, uh, go to the County sites. There's more than that, that I just mentioned. And so you have to be a persistent, don't just look at one. If one, doesn't have an opening go to the other. Speaker 1: 07:15 I've been speaking with Dr. Rodney hood, president, and chairman of the multicultural health foundation, Dr. Hood. Thanks. Speaker 2: 07:22 You're welcome. And thank you for having me. Speaker 1: 07:24 The panel is this Thursday from five 30 to six 30, for more information, you can go to kpbs.org.