President Joe Biden is currently getting the job done, already reaching his goal of 100 million vaccine doses in the arms of Americans to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But, there is still the lingering issue of hesitancy among people of color, especially in Black communities, to get the shot that could bring an end to the year-long pandemic.
Fashion icon and Harlem legend Dapper Dan has stepped up to the plate and has become an advocate for the COVID-19 vaccine, documenting his experience getting his second shot of the two-dose vaccine in the video as part of Vogue’s “Good Morning” series.
In the video, Dapper Dan sits down with Dr. Mary Bassett, the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and the Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine. During the Zoom interview, the experts in the respective fields touch on the understandable skepticism among Black folks due to America’s history of experimentation on Black, Brown, and Indigenous people.
Dr. Bassett touches on the disturbing Tuskeegee Experiment that saw Black men used as guinea pigs to see how untreated syphilis affected a group of Black sharecroppers in the south between 1932 and 1972 by the United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While acknowledging that instance was terrible, Bassett explained to Dapper Dan that it is also not a reason you should not get the vaccine that has been proven to be safe and effective and has been put into the arms of over 78 million people already. Dan also inquired why people of color are more susceptible to serious cases of COVID-19 which ultimately lead to death.
The good doctor explained that people of color are at much higher risk of catching the virus because we are on the front lines while revealing the alarming stats that Black people are dying at higher rates and much younger ages from COVID-19.
Following the very informative conversation between the two, Dapper Dan takes us on a stroll through Harlem on his way to get his second shot and chops it up with some of the locals. When he arrives at his final destination, he proudly rolls up his sleeve to get the final dose of the life-saving medicine in his arm.
Salute to Dapper Dan. You can watch the entire video below.
Photo: Johnny Nunez / Getty