Dr. Andrews is a high-risk OB working at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and a few other hospitals in the Denver area. She says she’s seen in the Intensive Care Unit an increase in pregnant women with severe symptoms of the virus. Dr. Andrews says the expecting mothers most effected are disproportionately minorities.
“I thought it might be good if I could tell people, ‘Hey I’m involved, the science seems safe, this hasn’t just been a year of development, it’s been decades. I’ve gotten the shot in my arm, I’m here, I’m fine, and I recommend you do it also,’” she said.
A Colorado doctor is hoping to help women of color feel more comfortable with the coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Sasha Andrews signed up for the Moderna trial in Colorado over the summer and was asked to participate in September.
“I think at that point they had started to limit the study to minority participants trying to make the population more reflective of those who are hardest hit by COVID,” said Dr. Sasha Andrews. “They need us to participate. We need to know if this vaccine is safe for different populations.”
Colorado data analysis shows women of color are least likely to want to get the vaccine.
“A lot of people are understandably skeptical,” Dr. Andrews said. “We as African Americans, especially in this country, have a history of poor relationships with science and research and I totally get it.”
She admits she also had a few concerns before accepting a position in the vaccine trial.
“Especially when I got that first email asking if I’d like to participate, I lost a little bit of sleep. I spent a lot of time on the internet trying to read as much as I can to convince myself that, what I do believe now, getting COVID would be a worse outcome than what I think could come as a reaction from the vaccine,” she said.
She and her husband both took two doses but neither knows if they were given the vaccine or the placebo. She’ll find out soon if she was given the vaccine, because otherwise she’ll be in an early group to get the vaccine through her work as a frontline healthcare worker.
“We’ve got to trust the science. We know what we’re seeing on a daily basis from COVID infections. We’ve got to get it under control, and I believe the vaccine is the only way to do this,” Dr. Andrews said.