We are living through troubling times that threaten our health, our lives and try our emotional strength, our ability to support our families and even our mental stability. Despite the dangers presented by the pandemic, and the new threats of violence surrounding the transfer of power in Washington, our members are on the job, part of the first line of defense against this overwhelming, deadly virus. You are providing essential services to some of the most vulnerable citizens in our society.
We are grateful for your service and working to do everything we can to make sure you have the masks, shields, gloves and other PPE. We are also advocating for the work rules that will make sure your jobs as safe as possible.
We want to protect you. Now, we are at the point where you must take steps to protect yourself by getting a vaccine to shield you from contracting or potentially spreading COVID-19 to your loved ones or consumers.
The state of Pennsylvania has established protocols for who is eligible to get the Corona vaccine. That guideline is changing very quickly with the incoming Biden administration and as the number of people in the first tier have completed their vaccinations.
The nation seems ready to expand the categories of people who can get the vaccine. We will pass along any new information as quickly as we get it.
The federal government, under the past administration made a complete disaster of the distribution of the vaccine. Many of you who voted them out took a step toward fixing that problem. But honestly, some of us are part of the problem because we are resistant to getting the COVID vaccine.
I know that African Americans especially have reason to be cautious about how we have been treated at the hands of the health care system. And some people are afraid that the vaccine has been developed too fast. But scientists, doctors and other medical professionals are unanimous in finding the vaccines to be safe and effective in stopping this virus that is killing us.
African Americans are dying nearly 3 times faster than white COVID victims. In this moment, in the midst of this pandemic, those old fears might kill you. You have nothing to fear from the COVID vaccine.
The FDA recommendations for the vaccine have been endorsed by the National Medical Association-the nation’s largest organization of Black doctors. In Philadelphia, the Black Doctors COVID Consortium is pre-registering people for the vaccine when it is available for people eligible in Phase 1b-from first responders to people at high risk for exposure and those who provide essential services.
Very few people of any race have a valid medical reason not to get a vaccine. If you have severe allergic reactions to vaccines or other medical complications, you should certainly talk to your doctor about it. But there is no reason for most of us to be afraid to get a vaccine that will save our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Protect yourself in the same way we protected ourselves from polio and small pox and the flu.
We urge you to get a COVID vaccine. Check with your county health department to pre-register for the vaccine. Philadelphia residents can sign up on line at:
or the Philadelphia Health Department at:
or review the people included in each phase of the roll out at:
Protect yourself, get a COVID 19 shot as soon as you can.