Dear Editor:

Recent polls have revealed that 35% of African-Americans are apprehensive about taking the coronavirus vaccine.The hesitancy, apprehension, distrust, and trust-worthiness of vaccines among African-Americans date back in communities of color to the American healthcare system's racist past and history.

The study of past events, in particular in human affairs with the Tuskegee Institute Syphilis Study where African-American men were deceived and were withheld treatment (1932-1972), and the Eugenic Project where thousands of African-American women who went to state health facilities for routine medical procedure and were sterilized without their knowledge (1900-1960) is still memorialized in the hearts and minds of  “all" African-Americans.

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However, at this juncture of our existence, there is a global pandemic caused by a virus.

The scientists called it the Coronavirus or COVID-19.

You can call it whatever you want or just call it even a "hoax" that have infected millions of people the world over and killed millions.

Currently, the world recognizes there are steps its inhabitants can take to halt or stop the spread of this disease and being inoculated with the speedily manufactured of vaccines to produce immunity against this virus is paramount until "Herd Immunity" meets no resistance. As it is understood with "herd immunity," if 80% of the world's population is immune to COVID-19, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won't get sick and won't spread the disease any further.

Therefore, usually up to 90% of the world's population needs immunity to achieve "herd immunity."

So to my 35% African-Americans friends, your decision to be vaccinated rests on you overcoming your fears of the past and your preparedness for the future, or be a statistic of those who live or those who die.

Horatio McKoy, City of Paterson New Jersey Constituent Service Liason in the Economic Development Department, Community Improvement Division.