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Columbus Black physicians stress importance of COVID-19 vaccine

The Columbus Black Physicians Network is out with this urgent message about how to stay safe from the novel coronavirus and the importance of getting the vaccine.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new and direct message for communities of color from medical experts who look at them.

The Columbus Black Physicians Network is out with this urgent message about how to stay safe from the novel coronavirus and the importance of getting the vaccine against it.

Members of the network represent various medical fields and institutions. 

Although COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect minorities, the doctors said they felt it was important to create this direct message to overcome any hesitancy about getting vaccinated.

Dr. Laura Espy-Bell, who specializes in emergency medicine, said that far too many minorities have had negative experiences in the healthcare system where they've felt ostracized or neglected.   

Dr. Espy-Bell said she and her colleagues understand the hesitancy, “ We understand the history of our healthcare system. We understand why they might have reservations or questions,” she said, “but these are the positive aspects of it and why you should get the vaccine."

The Columbus Black Physicians Network was founded in 2016. Dr. Espy-Bell formed it to provide a resource network for medical experts.  

The network’s members now perform community service and have a focus on educating the next generation of physicians by encouraging students of color to pursue careers in the medical field.