NewsCoronavirus COVID-19 Healthcare


A doctor's message to the African American community: "Please, please, get the vaccine"

Posted at 7:08 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 19:13:05-05

INDIANAPOLIS — As the public debates whether to get the vaccine once it becomes more available, doctors are urging people to do so.

As a neurosurgery resident at IU Health, Dr. Miracle Anokwute says he’s been anticipating this moment for quite some time. “As most of you know already, our hospitals have been inundated with patients who have COVID,” he said. “So much so to the point that we have our ICU beds completely full and our hospital systems have struggled.”

Dr. Anokwute was ecstatic when he was able to register for and receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. “Hearing about this vaccine and seeing the fruition of the clinical trials, with both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, it brings great joy to a lot of us healthcare workers because now we are able to tackle this disease head on,” says Dr. Anokwute.

Patients in his field have had some of their treatments and surgeries delayed because of the pandemic. He feels this vaccine is our best hope to easing the strain on hospitals and getting back to serving patients. He didn’t hesitate, he says, because the effectiveness of this vaccine is much higher than the majority of vaccines out there.

“It was pretty much painless. Just a poke and there was a vaccine in my arm,” Dr. Anokwute said. "The entire process was seamless." “And afterwords I had no symptoms whatsoever. No significant muscle soreness at the site. In fact, it was a much more pleasant experience than actually getting the flu vaccine,” said Dr. Anokwute.

“For those who are debating whether or not to get the vaccine, please please get the vaccine. Especially for those in the African-American population,” he said. “The healthcare system has not been kind to the African-American population and also to the minority population. We have the blight in medical history and the African-American history and the history of humanity, with the Tuskegee experiments. This puts a lot of African-Americans in a place where they’re afraid of the medical system and new medication and new drugs and new vaccines and new treatments that come in from the scientific community."

“They should be. But this is not Tuskegee. This is something that can help stave off the pandemic that is ravaging through the communities of African-Americans, Blacks, Latinos and other minorities, as well. To better protect yourself and better protect the people around you please go ahead and get this vaccine.”