Delana WardlawBy Dr. Delana Wardlaw

I’m not allowed to interact with my family and friends as I normally would. Have not been allowed to see my 92-year-old grandfather for an entire year.

First time I was able to see him was yesterday, because we’ve both been vaccinated.

My children’s lives have been uprooted with how they have to learn, and their social activities.

Prior to COVID my actions (with patients) were always interactive. When COVID came upon us, we had to pivot and learn how to see our patients without exposing them to the coronavirus and transition to telemedicine.

Trusting Science to Lead the Way

There are always questions about anything new that comes upon us. We all had to wait for the data to ensure the vaccine was safe and effective. Once that information was proven, I didn’t have any concerns with the vaccine.

The purpose of vaccines is to prevent severe consequences of a detrimental disease and death. These vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at doing that. Vaccines are tried-and-true processes and I believe in science.

Life After the Second Shot

I’m able to see my family members more. We can travel soon to other areas of the country and even internationally. I’ll be able to act more freely; go to graduations, family reunions, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner. Social activities are a huge part of our well-being.

Advice for the Fence-Sitters

Everyone has to decide which risk you are willing to take. We know that over one-half million in the U.S. alone have died of COVID-19. It is indeed a preventable death.

African Americans have learned through this vaccination process that when the information is readily available—clear, accurate, consistent information—and presented in a fashion that is accessible to everyone and vaccines are readily available, it increases the number of people willing to take the vaccine.

Again, COVID is a preventable death. And we need to make sure that everyone is taking actions so that we can decrease that risk.