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First Responders Encourage Vaccinations in Black Community
By Bertram Keller, Contributing Writer
Published February 18, 2021

Dr. Eloisa Gonzalez (Courtesy photo)

An online conference organized by Ethnics Media Services (EMS) and LA County COVID-19 Joint Information Center gathered doctors from the LA County Department of Public Health (Public Health), in that each doctor shared extensive data as well as a quality perspective.

The online conference was hosted by Contributing Editor at Ethnic Media Services, Pilar Marrero, and guest speakers: Public Health Director of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Eloisa Gonzalez, Public Health Director of Primary Care Clinical Quality Dr. Karen Kim, and Public Health Director of Hubert Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center Dr. Raymond Perry.

Webhost, Pilar Marrero, stated “One, the vaccine is free, safe, and effective; two, the county is committed to ensuring every resident who wants it—gets vaccinated; three, LA County is working to increase supplies of the vaccine from state and local partners—that being the major challenge to date.”

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LA County has administered 1,345,949 doses and cleared 298,875 second doses. According to Dr. Eloisa Gonzalez, “As our vaccination program continues, we are looking at strategies that improve access to vaccine for people who are older with limited mobility. We are organizing mobile teams to bring vaccinations directly to senior centers in our hardest hit communities.”

Vaccinations are currently available to health care workers, staff and long-term residents at healthcare facilities, and senior citizens—ages 65 and up. The groups to be vaccinated were determined at the federal level, then proclaimed on a state level, while all county’s implement the vaccination’s roll out. Governor Gavin Newsom indicated the next wave of vaccinations will be for education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, and emergency services—categorized as Phase 1B: Tier 1.

Dr. Gonzalez began an informative PowerPoint regarding pandemic data, she said “As of February 15, the average number of new cases is around 4,500, which is a 70 percent decrease since the peak we experienced in early January—when reported an average over 15,000 cases per day.” Despite the decrease in numbers, Gonzalez said, “Our optimism around this decrease is cautious… It is encouraging to see these numbers go down, and grateful to everyone whose careful actions are making this possible. However, our hospitals are still very crowded, and we still have limited ICU capacity.”

Dr. Karen Kim (Courtesy photo)

Over the past week, the state has averaged 8,000 new cases with over 300 new deaths per day. Experts say the true number of people infected is unknown while the current projections are only estimations, possibly much higher than official data indicates.

LA County Department of Health Services (DHS) expect to reduce numbers through patient outreach—according to Dr. Karen Kim, “Our strategy includes call center staff calling patients and target groups directly by phone to offer the vaccine and schedule [appointments], we are also using automated robocalls for high volume outreach.”

In America’s history, vaccinations have saved millions of lives, such as, the polio vaccine (IPV)—developed by Virologist Jonas Salk; according to the CDC, “Since 1988, more than 18 million people can walk today who would otherwise have been paralyzed, and 1.5 million childhood deaths have been averted thanks to the polio vaccine.” As well as the smallpox vaccine of the late 1700’s; the world’s first vaccine, the work of Edward Jenner and later developments. In Jenner’s time, the disease killed around 10 percent of the population, and rising to 20 percent in towns and cities.

Nevertheless, humanity is again faced with crisis, in which requires a united movement for vaccination. American Politicians and Physicians have devised sound planning for American’s citizens, in which case we are expected to proceed government plans in great faith.

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Despite the mass majority of physicians encouraging people to get vaccinated, somehow, a sense of “hesitancy” surrounds the vaccine. “Hesitancy in the ethnic communities; in particularly, the Black and Brown communities that I serve at my Humphrey Clinic,” said Dr. Raymond Perry, “Black and Latino communities, nationally; as well as here in Los Angeles, have disproportionately been impacted by COVID-19. There have been more cases of COVID-19 and more deaths from COVID-19 in these communities; yet these are also the communities that may have more hesitance about the vaccine.”

Dr. Raymond Perry (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Kim noted, “These numbers change day-to-day depending on who come through our vaccination sessions, but for the few weeks of data that we have—it shows that we’re vaccinating about 60 percent Latino, about 10 percent Black, 10 percent Asian, about 15 percent Mixed or other.”

Whether it’s Pfizer’s or Moderna’s vaccine, both FDA approved; based on official reports, nearly 200 million COVID‑19 vaccine doses had been administered worldwide (such as, CN 40,000,000 vaccinated, U.S. 37,000,000, U.K. 15,000,000).

Both vaccines are COVID-19 messenger-ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines, with slightly different in ingredients; Pfizer’s containing: lipids, salts, and sugars, and Moderna’s containing: lipids, acetic acid, Acid Stabilizers, salts, and sugars.

Based on Hackensack Meridian Health reports, “It’s critical to note that the mRNA vaccines never enter the nucleus of the cell, where our DNA is stored. After injection, the mRNA from the vaccine is released into the cytoplasm of the cells. Once the viral protein is made and on the surface of the cell, mRNA is broken down and the body permanently gets rid of it, therefore making it impossible to change our DNA.”

Dr. Raymond Perry noted that “As a healthcare worker, I was able to get my first does in December and second does in January, and I feel great, I feel protected! I know that I need to still wear a mask, wash my hands, and follow social distancing guidelines. But I feel like I’m doing my part to protect myself and also to protect my family, my friends, my co-workers and my patients.”

To register to receive vaccination go to VaccinateLACounty.com; VacunateLosAngeles.com; or to learn more information go to covid19.la.county.gov and dhs.lacounty.gov.

Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local | News
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