In this month’s newsletter, we’re going to look at some of the most common myths and misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, share information about why they’re wrong, and hear what members of the Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) community with disabilities who have gotten their vaccines have to say about them.
More people have died from the vaccine than from getting COVID-19.
No, this isn’t true. While members of the BIPOC community are at a much higher risk of getting, and dying from, COVID-19, no one in the United States has died as a direct result of getting their shot. When we asked Wynee Fair, a member of the BIPOC community with a psychiatric disability, about this topic she reminded other People of Color to “Trust the numbers.”
I’ve had my COVID-19 vaccine, so I don’t have to wear a mask.
No, this isn’t true. Unless your disability or medical condition makes you unable to wear a mask, you should wear one in all public places or when with anyone you know hasn’t had their shot. This helps to protect you and others. Otis Lee Junior, a Black man with a visual disability who’s passionate about reminding others to wear masks shared this experience he had with a coworker. “I told him there were other adults and kids in the building,” Lee said, “And I asked him why he wasn’t wearing his mask. He went and put one on.”
The COVID-19 vaccine was developed too quickly to be safe.
No, this isn’t true. The COVID-19 vaccine was developed quickly because of something called an emergency use authorization. No safety steps were skipped when making the vaccine, but this authorization allows millions of scientists across the nation to work together on the shots. That makes them more quickly available. The Messenger RNA (mRNA) based vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna also use technology that has been in the works for decades. Jonathan Brown, a Black man with a disability, explains it this way; “What do you have to lose? You either get the shot, or you get COVID.”
These are just a few of the many myths out there. If you want to learn more, you can visit Able SC’s Equitable Vaccine information for BIPOC communities webpage.