A masked woman is receiving an injection in her left upper arm.

Vaccination rates among Americans have slowed downs. (Courtesy photo)

By Wayne Dawkins
Special to the AFRO

Ninety-nine percent of Americans who have been hospitalized with coronavirus are persons who did not get vaccinated, reported webMD.com, citing a May report.

Meanwhile, Yale University this week reported that because of this year’s vaccination campaign, 279,000 covid deaths have been prevented.

Still, despite ominous evidence matched with positive news, many people still are defiantly resisting or hedging about getting the vaccines. What part of staying alive, and better yet staying healthy, do too many folks not understand?

This week on social media, a member of my congregation said she was about to bar her grown-up daughter from her home because her kin would not get vaccinated. My friend’s lament touched me personally. I have adult daughters and an adult son, all who have made excuses not to get vaccinated.

Don’t want to be a scold, but will I have to make the uncomfortable decision too?

In the case of my fellow churchgoer, her daughter changed her mind within 24 hours and received the vax. Hallelujah.

Two Americas are distancing themselves when they could get closer. East Coast states in New England and the mid-Atlantic and West Coast states have achieved 70% or more adults vaccinated, which means herd immunity. Opportunities then to make money, party, and hug loved ones.

Meanwhile, a few dozen Midwest and Deep South states have vax rates as low as under 50% and these members are behaving badly. Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are geographically locked together and have the nation’s lowest vaccination rates, reported CBS News.

In rural Missouri, a small-city mayor was being recalled by citizens. Why? COVID infections, such as the latest powerful strain, have spread rapidly. In response, the mayor asked citizens to resume wearing protective masks. Well thanks for being a leader. Some citizens took offense.

And there is this lunacy from the weekend: At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) some Republican governors attacked colleagues for attempting to protect their constituents during a relapsing public health crisis. The former U.S. president, who actually should be thanked for fast-tracking effective COVID-19 vaccinations, stood by and didn’t stop the insanity. However, he did get his vax before leaving in January.

Readers, don’t be victims or suckers. Get vaccinated. The inoculations work.

July 13, the AFRO presented “Tru Facts about the Vax,” a Facebook Live appeal.

Here in Suffolk, Va., while driving and tuned in to WHOV-FM, Hampton University’s station, a local Black doctor begged folks [“C’mon people”] to get vaccinated.

The next day cn “CBS This Morning” I watched a former HBCU women’s basketball coach go house to house in Mississippi, begging people to get the shots.

“If people tell me no,” said Denise Taylor, “I’ll say, ‘I respect that,’ but I’ll keep trying to convince others. I’m a coach. I don’t want to be last in anything.”

When the COVID-19  pandemic became apparent in March 2020 our lives were turned upside down and inside out for nearly 18 months. As Vice President Kamala Harris said, coronavirus laid bare health disparities in Black America.

Now we’re healing. We know there are new strains of the coronavirus out here. We also know how to fight back, with vaccinations and mask wearing when necessary.

So please, friends, family and acquaintances, get vaccinated. Let’s live in peace and prosper.

Wayne Dawkins is a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

#AFROCoversCoronavirus

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