Surveys and studies have shown Blacks’ reluctance to take the coronavirus vaccine but Howard University Hospital CEO Anita Jenkins said she will be vaccinated to show how safe it.

Jenkins said that while Blacks have been historically mistreated by the country’s health care system, African Americans must push aside their doubts and take the vaccine.

“Health care disparities, research, all of that has not necessarily been a smooth ride for Black and brown people in the United States,” Jenkins said, WUSA-TV (Channel 9) reported. “That’s why this COVID vaccine is met with skepticism. But let’s please understand, we are losing the battle with COVID. Black and brown people are dying three times more from this disease than others, or even our country at large.”

The hospital began vaccinating its employees Tuesday after receiving 725 doses the day prior, WUSA reported. The facility is one of the six sites in the District chosen for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine program because of its capability to store the drugs at -94 degrees.

As of Tuesday, D.C. has 25,339 coronavirus cases and 720 virus-related deaths, according to the city health department. Blacks account for 11,980 of those cases and 531 of the related deaths, far more than any other race.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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