The vaccine is here, why I haven’t gotten it yet…

Two vaccines have arrived to help with this COVID outbreak, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna. I have signed up for neither.

I know as a nurse I should be one of the first to get out there and get vaccinated. However, I still have questions that I needed answers for and only recently have I starting finding the answers. I wanted to know more about side effects, how many participated in the studies, how is the vaccine supposed to work?

There is also one other thing that has been holding me back; I am black and I have an inherent distrust of the medical system, the very system I am a part of as a nurse. Learning about things such as the “Tuskegee experiment”, seeing how many times the healthcare system has failed black women, seeing in person how implicit bias plays a role in how medical professionals treat people of color, realizing that there was only a small amount of people of color (9.8%) were actually in the Pfizer study, all make me wary.

I want to trust the science behind the vaccine. I want to trust the medical system. I want to believe in the potential of finally getting this pandemic under control. I also want to feel safe.