When the pandemic began, ABIM Gastroenterology Board member Dr. Scharles Konadu didn’t think she would see many COVID-19 patients. Then “the calls came in for feeding tubes,” for patients who had recovered from the virus, but suffered brain damage afterward, she said in an emotional social media post that included a picture of herself receiving her first COVID-19 vaccine. “I hope you can see the joy in my eyes. With this vaccine we now have a chance to save ourselves and those we care about most. It cannot only be healthcare workers willing to take this step, however…Let’s come together so we can live again.”
Dr. Konadu is one of hundreds of board certified physicians who answered the call to lead by example and post pictures on social media while getting vaccinated. Physicians posted messages of confidence and hope, often reflecting on patients they cared for in the past year and urging those in high-risk communities to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“The US health care system has a long list of wrongs toward Black people and COVID-19 claiming too many lives disproportionate,” said Dr. Tamara Jones Dunn in her Instagram post, “Got my 2nd dose of the vaccine today and am happy that my dad got his last week, I want to get the message out to Black and Brown people that the vaccine is safe and effective and a step in addressing disparities.”
Dr. James Ampadu wrote in his post, “I took the vaccine for the elderly, immunocompromised, minority communities, all of which are more likely to suffer greatly if they contract COVID-19. I took the vaccine for the patients in the hospital already suffering from COVID-19, unable to take the vaccine. I took the vaccine for the many lives lost that didn’t have the opportunity of a vaccine. I’m a frontline healthcare worker, so I’m ok with being on the frontlines for the vaccine.”
“I’m a frontline healthcare worker, so I’m ok with being on the frontlines for the vaccine.”
Another post read, “Today I chose to take the COVID-19 vaccine. I chose to protect not only myself but my family, my friends and all whom I may encounter.” wrote Dr. George Adesina, “Today, I chose to be a beacon of hope for our Black and Brown communities who have been disproportionately effected. Today, I chose science. Today, I chose facts over fiction. Today, I chose action. Today, I chose us and a brighter future.”
We hear you, we appreciate you and we are inspired by all you have done this past year. During the successful campaign to lead by example, your messages of trust in science were received by thousands of followers on social media, and in medical news outlets that promoted your efforts to educate the public. Thank you for participating—for protecting your patients, for staunchly defending science and for leading the way to a safer future by promoting facts and leading by example.
Vaccine skepticism in the general population and among some health care workers lingers, threatening our ability to bring the pandemic to an end. Please continue to post pictures and voice support for the vaccine as you get a second injection. The more people that see trusted, board certified physicians getting vaccinated, the more likely they are to follow suit.
“I just got my second dose yesterday of the Moderna vaccine through PA Hospital where, now that I have been vaccinated, I will go back to seeing patients with the residents,” said Richard Baron, MD, ABIM’s President and CEO. “I believe the vaccine is safe and effective, I think it is our best path out of the pandemic. Eventually, there will be enough for everyone, but the time between now and when that happens is clearly going to be challenging for everyone.”
“I believe the vaccine is safe and effective, I think it is our best path out of the pandemic.”
We have created templates you can download and use when posting messages on social media.
Thank you for all you have done during this difficult time and for all you continue to do to end this pandemic by promoting science and the vaccine.