It has been a year since the world changed. The COVID-19 pandemic altered every aspect of our lives. Social distancing, wearing masks, remote work, and learning all became part of our regular vocabulary. The world as we knew it changed with many of us isolated from family, friends, and loved ones. Vacations and weddings were canceled or postponed. Life events such as birthdays, graduations, proms, and other celebrations became virtual or drive-by celebrations.
COVID-19 disrupted our lives and the world longed to return to “normal”. A vaccine held the promise of all of us returning to our way of life. Since the new administration took office, there has been an increase in the production and distribution of the vaccine. Coronavirus ravaged black communities. According to Mayo Clinic, Black Americans contracted COVID at a rate almost 5 times that of their white counterparts. Despite that alarming statistic, vaccine hesitancy in our communities was fueled by fears surrounding the vaccine, the government’s history with medical experiments on Black Americans, and an overall mistrust of the healthcare industry. Adding to hesitancy are issues concerning vaccine equity and false information spread on social media.
We have heard from scientists, health officials, and experts but the Chicago Defender wanted to talk to everyday people who have received the vaccine. What were their experiences, side effects, and thoughts before and after obtaining the vaccine?
The Chicago Defender is pleased to present our roundtable discussion on the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.