DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado doctor hopes to help women of color become more comfortable with the coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Sasha Andrews signed up for the Moderna Trial in Colorado this summer and was invited to attend in September.
“I think by this point they had started narrowing the study to minority participants in order to reflect the population more on those most affected by COVID,” said Dr. Sasha Andrews. “You need us to participate. We need to know if this vaccine is safe for different populations. “
Dr. Andrews is a high risk OB who works at Presbyterian / St. Luke’s Medical Center and several other hospitals in the Denver area. She says she saw an increase in pregnant women with severe symptoms of the virus in the intensive care unit. Dr. Andrews says the most severely affected expectant mothers are disproportionately minorities.
“I thought it would be good if I could tell people, ‘Hey, I’m involved, science seems safe, this wasn’t just a year of development, it was decades. I got the shot in my arm, I’m here, I’m fine, and I recommend you do it too, ”she said.
Data analysis in Colorado shows that women with skin color are the least likely to want to get the vaccine.
“Many people are understandably skeptical,” said Dr. Andrews. “We African Americans, especially in this country, have a history of bad relationships with science and research, and I totally understand that.”
She admits she also had some concerns before accepting a position on the vaccine study.
“I lost a bit of sleep, especially when I got that first email asking if I would like to participate. I spent a lot of time on the internet reading as much as I could to convince myself that COVID, as I now believe, would be a worse outcome than I think in response to the vaccine, “she said.
She and her husband both took two doses, but neither knows whether they received the vaccine or the placebo. She will soon find out if she received the vaccine because otherwise she will be in an early group to get the vaccine through her work as a frontline healthcare worker.
“We have to trust science. We know what we see of COVID infections every day. We have to get it under control and I think the vaccine is the only way to do it, ”said Dr. Andrews.