N.C. A&T’s Chancellor and First Lady Get COVID-19 Vaccine and Discuss Why

By Tonya Dixon / 02/04/2021

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 4, 2021) — North Carolina A&T State University’s Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. and First Lady Davida Martin recently received COVID-19 vaccines, through the Cone Health System. Afterward, both sat down for an interview with Dr. Padonda Webb, interim executive director of the N.C. A&T Student Health Center to discuss why they decided to get the vaccine and the importance for others to get it as well.

“We don’t want to miss an opportunity in our community to protect ourselves [and others], especially since our community is disproportionately affected in a negative way right now,” said Mrs. Martin. dsc_0957.jpg

“We realize the mistrust that is deep seated in the African American community,” said Chancellor Martin. “I’ve heard a number of individuals in conversations say that they not only don’t trust the science, they also don’t trust the process, [and] don’t trust healthcare providers because there’s a longstanding history of a lack of people of color in healthcare and the Tuskegee Experiment and its impact in our communities as well. And I say to them I understand that. I understand the anxieties and fear.”

“But listen, I understand the science. I am a scientist.”

In addition to addressing the righteous trepidation within communities of color, they acknowledge the technological disadvantages that also exist and encourage younger generations to assist others without technical skills and access.

In a Jan. 5, 2021 report of ongoing study conducted by the APM Research Lab, nationwide, Black Americans have experienced 16.8% of all COVID-19 deaths of known race, but represent 12.4% of the population.

New national data released Wednesday show that Black patients have received only 5.6% of vaccines administered thus far, significantly below their representation in the overall population.

Both Martins agree candid conversations and education about the illness, the vaccine and access are vital components to ensuring all communities are aware and included in the pathway toward controlling the virus.

Watch the full interview, with the Martins online.

Media Contact Information: tddixon1@ncat.edu

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