BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The COVID-19 vaccine is sparking hope in many that this may be the long-awaited light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic.
However, some are still hesitant about taking the vaccine once it becomes available to the general public.
Dr. Belinda Alexander was vaccinated on Wednesday, and she hopes to ease fears surrounding the vaccine, especially for minority communities.
“I’m glad that we have another arsenal to combat the coronavirus, and I feel that given that I’m a physician in this neighborhood, I also grew up in Biloxi, that I need to tell the people that it is available and that it is safe,” she said.
The Memorial Hospital physician said despite her fear of needles, the shot was painless, and she encourages others to get the vaccine.
“I want to tell the Black community, the white community, Asian community, Latino community, we need this, we need to do this. I want to show you all that I am fine. There’s no problem. You know my face, and I will not direct you wrongly. So please, whenever it’s available, please go out and get your vaccine,” she said.
However, there are still some fears, especially in the Black community, about the vaccine.
“Why would I want to get a vaccine that say that it’s going to help and it’s only been a few months? So I feel like it’s something that’s going to make it worse,” said Jasmine Peyton.
Dr. Alexander said that should be no reason to fear the vaccine.
“This virus is related to other viruses that have been out there. So it’s not like they have not been trying to find other ways to intervene in how a virus attacks our body,” Alexander said. “This is a new way, but this is not a way that just popped up in their head overnight.”
Even with the vaccine rolling out, she still urges people to continue wearing their masks and social distancing.
“We as Americans need to do what’s right in protecting each other,” she said. “Don’t believe the hype that is a hype; it’s real.”
There’s still no timeline on when the vaccine will be available to the general public, but some health officials estimate it’ll be sometime in the spring or summer.