Why the head of the Black Doctors consortium received the COVID-19 vaccine

She gave the personal information to a waitress at the front desk, pre-registered for her second dose, and waited for her husband to do the same. Surrounded by masked members of her team, she walked down the hall to the room where she got her first glimpse.

Dr. Ala Stanford and her husband, Byron Drayton, of the COVID-19 Black Doctors Consortium, will register to receive COVID-19 vaccines at the Philadelphia Department of Health clinic on December 16, 2020. (Emma Lee / WHYY)

When she returned to the lobby, she had tears sticking her cheeks and a smile on her face. In the hall, she ran into another woman who had just been vaccinated, her eyes brimming with tears.

“I knew she must have been feeling what I was feeling,” Stanford said. “You want to do it, but you’re scared. But not to let the fear overwhelm the knowledge and belief that we are moving forward to better days. ”

‘If you don’t take it, I don’t take it’

The Stanford decision made a huge impact throughout the coalition.

Cynthia Taylor is a retired chemist who works with the organization, does administrative work and works as a supporter for Stanford. Until a day or two ago, she was also a “firm or” on the vaccine.

Stanford Learning did not intend to give the contract to Taylor, who was already going that route.

“I understand that we are all different and we all have different situations,” she said, “but if you don’t take it, I don’t take it. ”

Taylor and her husband, a police officer, tested positive for the coronavirus in November. She had no symptoms, but her husband was feeling chills, she was coughing, and she was feeling achy. She said his symptoms lasted nearly a month, and he has yet to notice a taste or smell.

“This is a scary virus, and there are so many we don’t know yet,” said Taylor. She explained that it was this fear of the unknown that led her to keep an eye on the vaccine.

“How do you create a vaccine for something when there are still things we don’t know? That ‘s my fear. We don’t know. ”

However, she said, it was Stanford ‘s motivation to weigh the risks and benefits that led her to reconsider. She does not want to get COVID-19 again and risk being too ill – or worse – to continue helping the people she has been able to offer tests. That, in addition to pages and research pages published by Stanford from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, changed her mind.

“This is more than just us in this room,” Taylor said. “It’s bigger than Philadelphia. It’s about the world coming back together and us getting a glimpse of life again. I feel like the next step is starting. ”

Cynthia Taylor, executive administrator for the Black Doctors Consortium, received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Philadelphia Department of Health clinic on December 16, 2020. (Emma Lee / WHYY)

After she got her bullet, Taylor reached into her pocket and pulled out the hot pink sticker noticing that she had been vaccinated.

“I’m saving it to put on my coat,” she said. “So that everyone can see.”