Historical trauma leads to skepticism within communities of color, which Dr. Chomilo wants to address head-on.
MINNEAPOLIS — Pediatrician Dr. Nathan Chomilo at Park Nicollet – Brookdale has always been a vaccine advocate.
But in conversations with patients and families, his own family and friends, he’s heard skepticism and doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine. Especially, among African-Americans.
As a black doctor, Chomilo knows of historical trauma caused by the medical community experimenting on and failing to prioritize people of color.
“Some of the medical advances have came at the expense of black and brown communities,” Chomilo said.
So he saw an opportunity to help educate and alleviate concerns.
“Part of connecting with people’s hesitancies around vaccines is acknowledging your own doubts that you have and how you worked through them,” Chomilo said.
Dr. Chomilo is participating in the AstraZeneca vaccine trial. And he goes into great lengths on his Twitter page about concerns and doubts he personally has had. Then he shares the research he did on those questions and why he’s no longer worried.
For example, concerns about the speed of vaccine timeline and the way it was politicized.
“A lot of experts I trust being at first concerned about the timeline but then being relieved when they look at the data,” he said.
And from a technical standpoint, the way the vaccine works using “mRNA code.”
“Once i learned more about the science, felt more comfortable with it,” Chomilo said.
Dr. Chomilo hopes documenting his experience this way helps more people trust the science and the vaccine.
“The risks that are there with the vaccine are much smaller than the risks to our communities from COVID -19,” Chomilo said.
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