Doctor's Mission: To Combat Ignorance on Vaccine, Get Takers

Feb 10, 2021

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new Associated Press poll shows that about 1 in 3 Americans definitely or probably won’t get the Covid vaccine, and it is having even more trouble winning acceptance in communities of color, with Blacks less likely than whites to say they will probably or definitely get the shot.

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick took part in a vaccine trial and is trying to educate others. She said information makes all the difference and tells a success story involving two Black men she counseled in Washington D.C.

“I answered their questions about the science and then I told them I was a vaccine trial participant and told them about my experience,” she said, “and both of them, at the end of that conversation, one said he would definitely take it and the other one said he would strongly consider it and would talk to his doctor about it.”

Fitzpatrick has been going to a number of cities to try to convince people to get the vaccine. She has been in Newark, at St. James Social Services.

Fitzpatrick and her company, Promoting Practical Health, dedicated to getting understandable medical information to people who need it, say people are skeptical of the vaccine.

“Mostly what we’re hearing are questions about well, is it safe,” she said, “and why do we have a vaccine so quickly, so the mistrust of the vaccine is linked to a lack of credible information.”

She said she always stresses her experience as a vaccine trial participant, and emphasizes that this is not in the trial phase anymore: “I remind people that over 30,000 people received this vaccine during the research trials,” she said, “and now over 30 million people have actually received the vaccine.”

Fitzpatrick said she thinks the online signup process has also deterred many who are not comfortable and familiar with computers from being vaccinated.