I went to a local @cvspharmacy today to get my second shot of the Shingrix vaccination.

This is the vaccine that helps protect people over 50 years old from getting the painful reactivation of the childhood chickenpox virus.

Also known as shingles.
The pharmacist was kind. Applied a discount to offset the cost. Gave me the obligatory medical information and consent form to sign.

I did.

He "gently agitated" the vaccine mix in front of me.

To my surprise he came around the counter to give me the shot.
"Which arm?" he asked.

I took my left out of my jacket.

As I turned away from him, I noticed a Black woman staring at me.

Her eyes wide in a mix of horror and surprise.

She was picking up her medications, but got distracted.

I knew exactly what she was thinking.
"You hate needles, huh?" I inquired.

"Can't stand 'em," she replied, shaking her head and disarmed that I just read her mind.

"Me neither. But I figure this is good practice for the #COVID19 vaccination."

As if on cue, the pharmacist interrupted out conversation.
"Little stick," he announced as the needle pierced my flesh.

The woman fixed her eyes on me, monitoring my reaction like a concerned mother with her child.

It didn't hurt.

I didn't flinch.

"All done," the pharmacist said as he put the bandaid over the injection site.
I put on my jacket and glanced at my maternal observer.

She was still watching when she spoke.

"That wasn't so bad," she uttered.

Now she was reading my mind.

"Not at all. Gotta take care of myself," I responded.

She pulled down her mask and smiled.
"Yes you do. Have a blessed day."

"You too," I said as I exited.

I don't know if watching me get that shot helped calm her fear of vaccines.

But our encounter reminded me that many in our diverse Black communities may choose not to get the #COVID19 vaccination.
Some won't believe the science.
Some don't trust doctors.
Some will say "Let go and let God."
Some are afraid of needles.

All valid explanations.

But one thing is clear.

As @gradydoctor writes...

"Tuskeegee" isn't always the reason.


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with David Malebranche

David Malebranche Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @DMalebranche

29 Aug
Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer at 43.

I am sad that this talented brother lost his earthly life to this disease at such a young age.

Most of us don't know the details of the screening, diagnosis, and treatment journey he endured.
What I do know is that according to the @AmericanCancer, colon cancer screening is recommended starting at age 45.

I also know that Black people suffer disproportionate health inequities related to colon cancer compared to other races/ethnicities.
We suffer these inequities not just because "we don't screen as much," but due to issues with access to care, insurance, public health outreach, and provider bias.

The same factors that drive racial health inequities from #COVID19, #HIV, and numerous other health conditions.
Read 11 tweets
29 Jul
I am leaving academic medicine for the 2nd time in my life.

I am walking away from the combination of job duties I love most:


I didn’t leave because I felt disrespected or unacknowledged as a Black faculty member.

That was the 1st time.
I left this time because I had to.

I had to stop putting everyone else first while throwing myself under the bus.

I had to refrain from running into brick walls that I knew were not moving or capable of being toppled over.

I had to accept that my healing is important too.
I had to acknowledge that I have yet to truly grieve over my deceased father.

I had to admit that #COVID19 has changed me.

I had to stop to catch my own breath instead of only helping everyone else catch theirs.

I had to realize I was exhausted and needed a break.
Read 5 tweets
31 Mar
I know a lot of folks living with HIV are worried about coronavirus.

It's understandable. Everything is crazy right now.

We are learning more about it daily.

We are hearing stories about people getting sick and dying.

It's ok to be anxious and nervous about it.
It's already enough living with HIV. Any fever, sniffle, or rash can cause panic and concern.

It's scary. All of it.

But you know what?

We know a good amount about COVID-19. There are good resources where you can empower yourself.

@CDCgov has great information that is updated every day.

@TheBodyDotCom presents facts that are easy to read and gives great tips on how you can navigate this pandemic AND thrive with HIV.

Read 7 tweets
8 Jan
1/What bothers me the most about medical providers today is not that they aren't intelligent. They most certainly are.

It's that they lack a sense of urgency with patients even when the facts are RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. Here are some examples:
An 87 year old man with high blood pressure and heart disease has leg pain and non-healing leg ulcers.

Tests show 2 of 3 leg arteries are 100% blocked. The pain is so bad he sleeps sitting up.

He is told to follow up as an outpatient to get ultrasound and cardiac clearance.
A 28 year old man with HIV has a new diagnosis of syphilis, headaches, and blurry vision.

STI guidelines state a new syphilis diagnosis with neurologic/visual symptoms should get spinal tap/eye exam.

He is told he doesn't need that, gets 1 shot penicillin and sent home.
Read 7 tweets
29 Dec 19
1/ A dear friend called me yesterday to talk how he had anal sex without a condom 24 hours earlier. He wanted advice on if he should be worried.

He used phrases like:

"I did something stupid"
"I know I'm being paranoid"
"I know I'm a hypochondriac"
2/ I asked if he had enjoyed the sexual and intimate experience he had - his first in 9 months of self-imposed celibacy.

"Hell yeah!" he responded. "It was nice."

I asked about his HIV status.

He was negative. The sexual partner said he was negative when asked directly.
3/ "But, you never know..." he added.

I understood. People lie.

He was worried. He goes for STI check ups regularly when he is active. The last health care provider he saw didnt even know what pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was.
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!