Dr. Reed Tuckson comments on tweets about the COVID vaccine in hopes of increasing vaccination in the Black community

By Vanessa Etienne
May 06, 2021 01:13 PM
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The Black Coalition Against COVID's (BCAC) latest initiative, Black Doctors Read COVID Tweets, is sharing the latest episode in its video series with PEOPLE exclusively, before it goes out to the public on Thursday.

The new series features health professionals reading tweets from members of the Black community about the COVID pandemic and vaccine, giving their comments and personal suggestions. BCAC told PEOPLE it hopes the series will bridge the gap between vaccine hesitancy and the need for education of vaccine science in the Black community.

Dr. Reed Tuckson, BCAC cofounder and former commissioner of Public Health DC, shares that he's "hungry to get my life back" in the PEOPLE exclusive clip of the latest of the series, released Thursday.

One tweet describes the nation-wide push toward ridding skepticism of the COVID vaccine in the Black community while pointing out the lack of access to vaccines compared to their white counterparts.

"Man, that's a real paradox, isn't it?" Tuckson said. "Let's keep pushing. Let's fight for access. Let's make sure that all of us who need it, want it, and can't wait to get it, can get it."

Dr. Reed Tuckson
Credit: Dr. Reed Tuckson

The BCAC tells PEOPLE that there is an "unfortunate narrative" surrounding vaccine hesitancy which is why, with its 40+ organizations, it utilizes science-based information curated specifically for the Black community to minimize health disparities.

"A lot of times they try to make us somehow abnormal because we ask questions, or make use seem as if we are outliers because we don't want to get vaccinated when in reality, the overwhelming majority of us do," described Tuckson in part 1 of the initiative. "We're smart. We know what's going on. We can read the science."

"That's why we at the Black Coalition Against COVID and all the Black health professionals that are part of us are saying to our community every day, 'Ask questions, but get the facts. And realize that we can't fall into the rumors that they say about us that we don't want [the vaccine],'" he continued.

In the latest episode of the series, Tuckson ends the segment reminding people to wear masks, wash their hands, and get the COVID vaccine when it becomes available to them.

"In all seriousness, Black doctors and health advocates like me are working as hard as we can to prioritize and save Black lives from this COVID pandemic," Tuckson notes. "After all, we're all in this together, and together we'll get through this pandemic," he added.