The nurse who inoculated Kamala Harris against the coronavirus wants others — particularly those in the low-income neighborhoods surrounding the United Medical Center in southeast Washington where the vice president-elect got her shot — to get the vaccine, too.
“Most of the people who live there are poverty-stricken,” UMC nurse manager and Walden Masters of Nursing student Patricia Cummings, said, WUSA-TV (Channel 9) reported. “They do not seek health care in a timely fashion. They do not indulge in primary prevention, so by the time they come to us, they are extremely sick.”
UMC is located in Ward 8, which has the second-largest percentage of Blacks and the lowest rates of poverty in the city, according to census statistics. The hospital primarily serves Wards 7 and 8 and western Prince George’s County.
Those two wards have the highest numbers of coronavirus cases in the city since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March, according to city health department statistics.
Cummings said Harris’ immunization sends an important message to those she serves.
“It was extremely significant and helpful in encouraging the southeast D.C. community to embrace the vaccine, but I believe that the community felt cared for or thought of by her actions in choosing United Medical Center,” she said, WJLA reported.
She said the vice president-elect’s presence was empowering and embolden her to step her advocacy encouraging people to get the vaccine.
As of Tuesday, D.C. has reported 34,259 coronavirus cases and 861 virus-related deaths during the pandemic, according to the city health department.