Doctors work to educate Haitian community on COVID-19 vaccine safety

ORLANDO, Fla. — Two COVID-19 vaccines are now approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and more shipments of the medication are being sent across the country.

Doctors in Central Florida are now trying to educate their own communities about why to get those shots.

A roundtable of doctors met Saturday evening to answer questions at a local Haitian church.

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There was no one seated in the pews inside the church, but hundreds were watching online.

The weren’t tuned into a sermon, but instead they watched a lesson on COVID-19 and the new vaccines over YouTube and Facebook.

Doctors spoke and answered questions in Haitian creole.

“It’s good to do it in their own language, so they can actually ask questions directly,” said Dr. Junias Desamour. “They are friends, some of them I’ve been to high school with them. So, I know them for years. I think that, that, that makes a difference.”

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He gathered colleagues to help dispel misinformation spreading online.

The doctors’ goal is to alleviate any apprehension people have about vaccines.

Some of it created in the Black community after cases like the Tuskegee experiment.

These doctors stress that this was the past.

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To prove he believes this, Dr. Desamour has a card that says he already got the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

“I had a little soreness in the arm where I took it,” Dr. Desamour said. “After that, there’s really no adverse reaction.”

He wants to be an example that the vaccine is safe for most people.

Because this was a virtual roundtable, if somebody missed a question or wants to go back and listen to an answer one more time, they could.

Cierra Putman, WFTV.com

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.