Vaccine decision through the eyes of a minority

Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 7:06 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - When Steven Hammonds realized it was his final moments with his grandpa he rolled up his sleeve and took the initiative to take the vaccine.

Hammonds’ grandfather, Jack lost the battle to COVID-19 on December 15th. It was a pivotal moment where Hammonds’ realized the impact of this virus. He claimed the vaccine is a way to prevent other loved ones from joining his newest angel

“He said if there is something that is important to you, you need to do it today,” Hammonds said.

It wasn’t an immediate yes for Hammonds. Being a health care worker, he heard of concerns about infertility and Bell’s palsy, but he did tons of research. He called the shot the best tangible solution for his family to fight coronavirus, but he understands why many feel differently.

“I don’t at all hold it against people, people of color who are reluctant, because of the way that we have been treated historically especially within the health care system,” Hammonds said.

An experiment that took place in 1932 in Alabama known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. It killed hundreds of African American men and their families. A dark piece of history that virtually eliminated confidence.

“There is a barrier, there is a lack of trust sometimes and I think that if there were more faces that people can relate to then perhaps that barrier would be reduced,” explained Hammonds.

For Hammonds, the concept of your body your choice has never been more relevant.

“Papa always said you can’t make good decisions without good information,” Hammonds said.

He added, the loss of his grandfather allowed him to wake up and realize what this disease is capable of.

“It is real, look at the numbers, look at the data, and I would hope that people would do whatever they can to help reduce the number of cases,” Hammonds said.

Hammonds’ action was his choice and understands the ultimate decision for you and your family is in your hands.

“It could be the thing that pivots the trajectory of the virus in the United States and I think we could do a lot better,” Hammonds explained.

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