Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic is not yet over. It’s not yet over for the nation and it definitely isn’t over for Black folks. Many may not realize it, but more than 400 people a day are dying of COVID, and many more are experiencing, or will experience, the health and financial consequences of long COVID.

Studies show us that the immune protection from prior vaccinations, and prior infection, decrease over time. It’s important that you increase your protection now with the new vaccine that protects from previous and current strains that are still with us.

After billions of doses of COVID vaccine have been administered all over the world, without significant side effects, we now know that the vaccine is safe for children and adults. As for vaccine effectiveness, it is estimated that almost 20 million lives were saved worldwide in the first year alone! A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that the vaccination campaign averted 58% of deaths that might have otherwise occurred during their study period. The COVID vaccines have been proven safe and effective at preventing death and severe illness.

Our risk of exposure is disproportionally higher than for others. We must protect ourselves and each other. The holidays are around the corner. Please ensure that all of our seniors are protected this year by assisting them in getting their boosters, and you getting yours. so the entire family is protected for the holidays. If you contracted COVID more than three months ago or received a previous booster or primary COVID vaccine more than two months ago, and are 12 or older, the time is NOW to get the bivalent vaccine dose.

The bivalent booster is FREE and you can get the shot at local pharmacies, some physician offices and hospitals, and at D.C. Health’s Covid Service Centers. The Ward 8 location is 3640 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, and the Ward 7 location is 3929 Minnesota Avenue NE. For more information go to coronavirus.dc.gov. Let’s work together to reverse this troubling trend of dying in higher numbers than any other racial group by taking action to protect ourselves. Black lives matter and one way of showing it is by getting your booster!

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