NEW YORK (CMC):
As many in the global community, including the Caribbean community in New York City, express fear, reluctance, or reluctance to take the COVID-19 vaccine, some Caribbean-born doctors and other medical professionals are urging community members to use the vaccine to be taken as soon as it is available.
In exclusive interviews with Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), at least three Caribbean doctors – a Trinidadian, a Guyanese, and a Vincentian – said the vaccine was right and sensible to take.
“It’s important that people take the vaccine,” said Dr. Yolande Thomas-Badal, a Trinidad-born internist and emergency doctor at Interfaith Medical Center in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, who recently took the COVID-19 vaccine at her hospital.
“The vaccine is our first best defense against COVID-19,” added Dr. Thomas-Badal added, explaining that she took the vaccine because it “offers protection.
“I also have a 91-year-old mother and I don’t want my mother to be infected,” she said, revealing, “I just got married and my husband will come (from Trinidad and Tobago). and I don’t want him to be infected.
“You have to think about the other people around you,” continued Dr. Thomas-Badal left. “To be on the front lines and see patients with coronavirus … and if there’s something that will help me prevent the coronavirus, I’ll do it.”
She noted that “many minorities have underlying medical problems such as diabetes, cancer and coronavirus”. [is] kill many of my people ”.
Dr. Thomas-Badal said some of her patients are reluctant to take the vaccine, saying “they don’t trust him”.
But dr. Thomas-Badal emphasized that “Education is our best defense”.
“A lot of people want to wait and see what happens (with the COVID-19 vaccine) but sometimes we just can’t wait,” she urged. “We have to find a way to build people’s trust.”
SAFE FOR EVERYONE
Dr. Clifford Young, a St. Vincent-born attending physician at Woodhull Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant and SUNY Downstate Medical Center and University Hospital in Central Brooklyn, in the heart of the Brooklyn Caribbean community, said while “blacks in this country” fear before have this vaccine, this vaccine is safe ”.
“I look at the data and the vaccine is safe,” he said. “Caribbean and black people should take the vaccine.
“We have the highest morbidity and mortality rates so we should take it,” said Dr. Young. “We suffer the most, we are a risk group and we should be at the top.
“Do we have to be afraid of the vaccine? The answer is no, “said Dr. Young. “When it’s my turn, I’ll take it.”
Guyana-born Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, a medical doctor trained in St. George’s University medical school in Grenada, said the Caribbean community should “embrace the vaccine and admire the efforts of the world’s scientists.”
“It is important to get out of our politics and see humanity as a species,” said Dr. Ramsammy.
On December 14, a Jamaican-born nurse made history by becoming the first person in the United States to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Sandra Lindsay, 52, an intensive care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, received the vaccine, according to a statement from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The statement said that Guyana-born Dr. Michelle Chester, Northwell Health Director of Employee Health Services, administered the vaccine to Lindsay, a frontline health worker eligible to receive the vaccine under the first phase of the New York vaccine distribution plan.