5 important COVID-19 vaccine updates for Black communities

Last updated: Jun 7, 2021
Here are five updates for those in Black communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccinations are on the rise in California, but some people may still be nervous about the vaccines themselves. Worries about inequities in care and treatment or concerns about the diversity of the COVID-19 clinical trials may be factors. These concerns are understandable and are addressed below.

1. The vaccines are tested for everyone’s safety

The National Medical Association (NMA) agrees that the vaccine is safe. This group looks out for physicians and patients of African descent. NMA found that there were enough Black participants included, at 10% of participants, in both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trials.

Doctors, community health centers, or family and friends who have received the vaccine are all good resources for questions.

2. Certain jobs and health conditions can increase COVID-19 risk

Diabetes, along with obesity and heart disease, add to the seriousness of COVID-19. Black Americans have diabetes 30% more often than White Americans. Also, Black communities employ many essential workers, which means more direct contact with the public through their job. This creates a higher risk of getting and spreading the virus.

While some people have concerns about vaccine side effects, COVID-19 can cause long-term and fatal results. The risk of side effects from the vaccine is lower than the dangers of the virus itself.

3. Fully vaccinated people can visit each other more safely

The CDC says that fully vaccinated people can visit other fully vaccinated people without masks or social distancing. This is as long as they are not – or don’t live with – someone at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This can help bring family and friends together again.

4. Getting the vaccine helps everyone

The sooner everyone gets the vaccine, the sooner everyone can see friends and family safely. With each day that passes without getting vaccinated, there is more risk of the COVID-19 virus mutating in a way that could be more deadly or that the current vaccine would not protect against. Encourage your family and friends to get vaccinated so we can all reach herd immunity sooner.

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is an immunologist at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “A vaccine can reduce transmission and make it safer to return to normal life," Dr. Corbett told University of Texas Southwestern's Center Times. "I call it vaccine community service.”

5. Getting vaccinated is now easier

The COVID-19 vaccine is free and available to anyone 12 and older. This is true even for non-US citizens or people without insurance. For those facing hurdles to getting vaccinated, California is working to make it easier. The state is helping with rides, mobile clinics and more.

Ready to get vaccinated?

Find a location near you

Related articles

What we know about long-term COVID-19 right now

Here’s what scientists have learned so far about the most common lingering effects and how to manage them.

Removing barriers to getting a COVID-19 vaccine

We are working hard with the state to make the vaccines available to everyone.

Why older adults shouldn’t wait to get a COVID-19 vaccine

Getting vaccinated will help protect you from getting the virus.

Addressing COVID-19 concerns in Pacific Islander communities

We answer common questions those in Pacific Islander communities may have.

Addressing COVID-19 vaccine concerns in Indigenous peoples of America communities

We answer common questions those in Indigenous peoples of America communities may have.

Your simple guide to COVID-19 testing

Discover the differences between the two types of diagnostic COVID-19 tests and learn which one may be best for you.

Concerned? Get the facts about the COVID-19 vaccines

We have answers to common questions about the vaccines.

Your 5-step plan to stay safe with diabetes

Now’s the time to double down on good blood sugar control. But that’s not your only safety measure.

Overcoming needle fears

Does the thought of getting a shot make you want to skip it altogether? Learn how to cope with your anxiety like a pro so you can get the care you need.

6 groups of people who are at higher risk for COVID-19

If you’re an older adult or have underlying conditions, it’s hard not to worry about COVID-19. But knowing the details can help you stay healthy.

Addressing COVID-19 vaccine concerns in Asian communities

We answer common questions those in Asian communities may have.

COVID-19 concerns in Black communities

Addressing COVID-19 vaccine concerns in Black communities

We answer common questions those in Black communities may have.

Addressing COVID-19 vaccine concerns in Hispanic/Latino communities

We answer common questions those in Hispanic/Latino communities may have.

What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines for teens

Some teens 16 and up are eligible to get the vaccine now.

What to know if you have an ongoing health condition

The vaccines are highly recommended for people with chronic illnesses.

6 great reasons to get the COVID-19 shot

Here’s a look at some of the good things that will happen once you’re vaccinated.

How do the 3 new COVID-19 vaccines work?

These shots are the first of their kind, and they’re true medical breakthroughs. Here’s a closer look at the science behind how they were developed.

The high-risk people who need the COVID-19 vaccine most

If you’re living with lung disease, hypertension, or diabetes, getting the coronavirus shot is especially important.

Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines available now

Learn how the three approved shots stack up and find out why all of them can help keep you safe.

Get to know your treatment options for COVID-19

Learn about the latest treatments available for adults and children with mild, moderate, or severe COVID-19.

What does herd immunity from COVID-19 look like?

Learn how getting vaccinated can help us reach herd immunity safely — and get back to living a normal life faster.

A parent’s guide to the COVID-19 vaccine

What you need to know to help protect your child from COVID-19.

5 important COVID-19 vaccine updates for Asian communities

Here are five updates for those in Asian communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.

5 important COVID-19 vaccine updates for Hispanic/Latino communities

Here are five updates for those in Hispanic/Latino communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.

5 important COVID-19 vaccine updates for Indigenous peoples of America

Here are five updates for those in Indigenous peoples of America about the COVID-19 vaccine.

5 important COVID-19 vaccine updates for Pacific Islander communities

Here are five updates for those in Pacific Islander communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.

What everyone with diabetes should know about the COVID-19 vaccines

How long will you wait for a shot? What are the side effects like? Here’s the essential info you need.

Heart disease and COVID-19: Your 5-step plan to help you stay healthy

Now that the coronavirus has your attention, here’s how to help protect yourself.

Protect your community: Meet Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Getting vaccinated can help stop the COVID-19 spread in Black communities, which have infection rates three times that of White communities.

Protect your community: Meet Dr. Erica Pan

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will help stop the spread in at-risk Asian communities.

Protect your community: Meet Virginia Hedrick

Vaccines are important to protecting the health of California’s at-risk Indigenous peoples of America communities.

Protect your community: Meet Dolores Huerta

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help stop the spread of the virus in California’s Hispanic/Latino communities.

Protect your community: Meet Dr. Kawika Liu

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a crucial step for helping to protect Pacific Islander communities.

Worried about COVID-19 vaccine mandates

We answer your top questions about whether COVID-19 vaccines are (or will be) required, plus how to prove your status.

The future of COVID-19 vaccine research

Here’s what scientists know now about the virus— and what they hope to know soon.