Harry Boomer: My personal journey to the decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Virus and vaccination: Deciding to get vaccinated

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The choice to get a vaccine is one that many Americans are grappling with. There are personal reasons, distrust of the medical establishment, and other considerations as well.

It’s a decision our Harry Boomer made, and he’s sharing his point of view.

Cleveland Clinic doctor Charles Modlin, director of the Minority Men’s Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic took the Moderna Vaccine.

As a high-profile African American, he knows just how important it is to set a good example to help overcome the historic hesitation regarding Blacks and the medical community.

“I’m glad you decided to go ahead get the vaccine,” he said.

For more than a decade, 19 News has partnered with Dr. Charles Modlin of the Cleveland Clinic. His Minority Men’s Health Center help inform and motivate men to take better care of themselves. Modlin, a trusted friend, asked Boomer about his decision.

“How did you come to the conclusion that you would actually, in fact, get the vaccine because I know there are a lot of people out there who are suspicious in getting the vaccine because there are a lot of myths and misconceptions, a lot of fears and trepidation. So, I’m curious for starters, how you decided,” he asked.

Here’s how Boomer responded:

“By being in the news biz, I am acutely aware of COVID-19 and all its potential problems including death. I’ve told friends and family I want to be healthy, and I don’t want to die so I’m going to get the vaccine. I’ve gone through a process of self-examination in terms of my thinking. I have a couple of doctors in my family, a nephew and niece, who are scientists. We’ve talked about it during our weekly Zoom meetings for two to three hours with the rest of the family around the country. I’ve come to the conclusion it is best for me being 67 to get the vaccine as soon as it is available. I went to the website and found out I’m eligible as early as February the 8th, not before then.

So, I made the decision in consultation with my family, my two doctor family members as well as my physician at the Cleveland Clinic to go ahead and do this. I’m aware of the history of there being some hesitation in the African American community, the medical community. I’ve taken all of that into consideration. My thing is, that’s history, this is now. I want to stay alive. I’m going to get the vaccine as soon as it is available. So, that’s where I’m at. I free very comfortable with that process. I know there are some possible side effects. I can deal with a side effect. Death is permanent and like I said before, I want to live.”

Again, I can’t get vaccinated until at least February 8th. I have to wait until then to schedule my appointment here at the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic. So, I’m going to follow the CDC guidelines by wearing my mask, keeping my social distance, washing my hands, and staying out of crowds. Like I jokingly tell my friends, I may be as old as dirt, but I’m going to do everything I can to stay above ground.”

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