African American Families: Make Sure You Are Vaccinated
The latest statistics are out and African Americans are the racial group with the fewest COVID-19 vaccinations, only 30 percent. African American elders are taking the vaccinations, but younger ages; essentially their adult children and grandchildren are not. This means that our elders, and others with additional illnesses, can still get the virus from family members and it means that our population is the most vulnerable. We don’t want families to be split between a vaccinated group and a non-vaccinated group. Organizations in the Madison African American community are going out to directly talk to people, answer their concerns and provide the vaccinations.
The African American Health Network of Dane County (AAHN) is an organization specifically designed to promote the health and guard the well-being of the African American community. It is led by President, Dr. Eva Vivian, a well-known and beloved health care advocate and community activist who is also a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy. Board members are Gale Johnson, Carola Gaines, Ms. Charlie Daniel and Dr. Joann Pritchett. This organization also has an extensive roster of African American health care professionals in a variety of fields who are Black women who also have strong community relationships, built on serving with integrity for years in the Madison community. Especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the difficulties for African Americans connected with this disease, the AAHN continues to give a valuable service at a time when it is most needed.
The AAHN is currently holding vaccination clinics in partnership with the surrounding neighborhoods. The second dose will be available on Friday, May 22 at the Goodman Center and people can telephone 608-204-8018 for another free vaccination, and for education from these health care experts who will answer any and all questions. In addition to partnering with the Goodman Center, the AAHN will also host information sessions and vaccine clinics with the Lussier Community Education Center, the Triangle Neighborhood Association, the Wexford Apartments and the African American Council of Churches. The AAHN is going directly into neighborhoods with African Americans populations to offer services that are easily assessable to families.
This effort to assist African Americans with the vaccinations is part of the work that they have been doing for the past decade. The AAHN was first established to provide African American health professionals with an important group of like-minded professionals to engage with, share information, and provide support for each other. Today it has evolved into four major functions: research, advocacy, leadership, and education so that even when the community is not aware of what the AAHN is doing, it is working behind the scenes to ensure the best health outcomes for African Americans.
Instead of being worried about past historical issues with medicine, remember that people in countries like India would love to have access to the medicine that we can get for free. Other countries, like Canada have one dose but are waiting for the second dose. If you know anyone who has this disease, then talk to that person because the disease is so devastating, that you never want to get it. The vaccine is not worse than the virus itself. Most importantly, since being vaccinated keeps you and someone you love alive, then please get the vaccination.
Fabu is a member of the African American Health Network of Dane County