Eliminating The African American Community Hesitancy to Receive Covid Vaccines With Caprice Hibbler

Tell us about yourself and the field you work in?

Hi, I am Caprice Hibbler, and I work in the medical field, right front, and center. I am one of the emergency room Nursing Stations Clerks at the number 1 trauma center in Upstate NY, Upstate Medical University Hospital.

How has your experience been as an essential worker?

I have been an essential worker for going on 12 years. I think up until 2020 I never realized how important essential workers were to the community. My time as an essential worker has been challenging.

I have worked numerous roles at the hospital, but working in the Emergency room has been the most rewarding seeing those nurses, doctors, housekeepers, techs and everyone else works so hard, and tirelessly without any handouts for being an essential worker during covid.

This last year has been difficult and tiring for all essential workers. We are tired, but we know it is our duty and this is what we signed up for.

I understand you received the covid vaccine, how did that come about?

Yes, I have received the vaccine, I was one of the first people in Onondaga County to receive it.

Take us through the process?

My CNO Nancy Page and boss Susan Rainbow came to me and asked me if I wanted to get the vaccine. I was a little hesitant due to all the backlash the vaccine has been receiving.

I went with my heart and went through with it. I received the PFizer vaccine, The process for the vaccine is like all other vaccines.

It’s a little paperwork and a shot in the arm, the only thing different is that there are two doses to the vaccine.

Did you have any side effects?

With my first dose, I had a sore arm. On my second dose, I had little body aches and chills for about 6 hours. I took Tylenol and woke up great the next day.

Why do you think the African American community should be confident in receiving the vaccine as well?

I think the African American community should be confident in getting the vaccine because we should be the change and stop letting fear of the unknown keep us from getting to some normalcy.

We are labeled as ignorant and we believe anything. I think everyone should educate themselves and not just read Facebook statuses and fake news outlets.

As we all know COVID-19 is not going anywhere soon. I can speak for the black community because we have been let down and failed as a race for so long we do not trust anything. I think this time I went with my faith in hopes to end something that has claimed the lives of millions all over the world.

What are some stigmas you think should be eliminated in regards?

I do not trust the government as far as I can throw them, don’t believe that they handpicked this vaccine to be the vaccine to kill us off. The virus itself has killed millions of people.

Think of this as any other vaccine we have received. I am a leader, not a follower so I took a lead and got the vaccine in hopes of the world as we knew it comes back fast.

What advice would you have for anyone who wants to get the vaccine but may be scared?

I was scared at first, but as I said before I went with my faith. I believe everyone has their own choice on whether they want to receive the vaccine.

I am here to tell you that science is way smarter and faster than a hundred years ago. They have the funding so try not to question how fast the vaccine came out.

We are living in miserable times and we all want to get back to normal. But someone has to be the change and someone has to go first so I decided to be that change and go first. The vaccine is not killing us the virus is!!!

We would like to thank Caprice for sharing her story and for her epic bravery!



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Tammy Reese is an award winning actress and writer. She currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television.