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COVID-19 Survivors, Medical Experts Try To Break Through Lingering Vaccine Hesitancy In Syracuse's Black Community

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Scott Willis
Jaquan Bey shares his COVID experience as part of a live-streamed panel discussion Thursday evening at Syracuse Community Connections. To his left are Common Council President Helen Hudson Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, and Gary Williams with the Syracuse Community Health Center. Moderating the discussion was SCC CEO Larry Williams and Denise Welch of Black Health.

An online event Thursday aimed to reach members of the Black Community in Syracuse and Onondaga County who remain hesitant to get vaccinated. Black Health and Syracuse Community Connections want the public to know that the highest cases of COVID-19 are still trending among black communities in our city and beyond. Jaquan Bey thought he had the flu last December, but it was actually COVID. After taking over the counter medicines, he drove himself to the hospital and collapsed on the spot.

“I spent a total of 88 days in the hospital, two weeks of rehab at Upstate. I came home and did outpatient rehab. I have long hauler effects like neuropathy from my hips down to my feet.”

Bey says when he woke-up from an induced coma and from being placed on a ventilator, he was also on dialysis. He encourages everyone to get the vaccine. SUNY Upstate Dr. Daryll Dykes says Bey is nothing short of a medical miracle to survive the deadly virus. He encourages the black community to trust the vaccines.

"These vaccines are greater than 90 percent effective in reducing your chances of having a severe outcome from a COVID infection. Reducing your chances of ending up in a hospital, reducing your chances of dying.”

The doctor says he understands why some people are hesitant about COVID vaccines, but he emphasizes they are reliable. He says getting people vaccinated is an effort to save our lives and our economy, and wearing masks are just as important.

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Scott Willis
Dr. Daryll Dykes tries to ease any vaccine concerns among the Black Community.