Black community members push to improve COVID-19 vaccine awareness

Jewelean Jackson, the former board chair of the Community-University Health Care Center, documented her experience getting her second dose of the vaccine on Friday.

The 73-year-old woman said she hardly had any side effects.

"My arm is still sore and it’s itching. Other than that, I’m fine. No temperatures, no fevers, no chills.

Jackson said she wanted to document the experience to shed light on the importance of the vaccine, while at the same time acknowledging the hesitancy that exists in the Black community.

"I see both sides of it, and I understand where people are coming from," she said. "There are some that say it hasn’t been studied long enough, some would say they are moving too fast, but at the same time there are some who say there’s a conspiracy afoot."

Some of the mistrust is rooted in medical abuse dating back centuries. According to a recent study by the National Foundation for Infectious Disease, only 49 percent of U.S. Black adults plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jackson wants to help change the narrative.

"The message that I’m trying to convey is that it is OK and that it is in our best interest to be at the table," she said.

The COVID-19 numbers in Minnesota continue to show a very promising trend. With two deaths reported Tuesday, it's now been four straight days of single-digit coronavirus deaths - something that hasn't happened in five months. Meanwhile, ICU cases are at 57, the lowest point in eight months.