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From the Director's Desk: – Minority Health Awareness Month: Vaccine Ready

Are you vaccine ready?

This year’s theme for Minority Health Awareness Month is a result of the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on racial and ethnic minorities across the nation, further highlighting the need for vaccination among these populations.

According to the CDC, compared to white Americans, African Americans are nearly three times more likely to be hospitalized and almost two times more likely to die from COVID-19. For American Indians or Alaska Natives, they are more than three times more likely to be hospitalized and two times more likely to die from the virus. Hispanics or Latinos are three times more likely to be hospitalized and twice as likely to die from the virus.

For some, this was enough reason to roll up their sleeves and take the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, more than 400,000 Arkansans have been fully vaccinated.

For others, vaccine safety has been of great concern, leading to vaccine hesitancy among numerous populations.

If you’re still on the fence about taking the vaccine, here are some things to consider:

  • Vaccines play an important role in keeping us healthy. They protect us from serious and sometimes deadly diseases.
  • Vaccines are injections (shots), liquids, pills, or nasal sprays that you take to teach your body's immune system to recognize and defend against harmful germs. The germs could be viruses or bacteria.
  • Some diseases, like COVID-19, can be very serious. Because of this, getting immunity from a vaccine is safer than getting immunity by being sick with the disease.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be effective at preventing the virus and is an important tool to help end the pandemic.
  • People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things they’d stopped doing because of the pandemic.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give you the virus.
  • After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building protection.
  • Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
  • The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

For additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the CDC’s website here.

In the meantime, please remember the 3 W’s: Wear your mask, Wash your hands and Watch your distance!

Thanks for stopping by the Director’s Corner, where your health is our priority!