COVID-19 Vaccine Testimonial: Dwain Kyles
As part of our ongoing campaign to encourage and ramp up vaccination in Black communities across America, Sage Collective is creating testimonials that showcase why people have chosen to receive the coronavirus vaccine, and what the experience was like. To start, we’re engaging our own Board of Directors and Leadership Team to share their stories.
After sharing the experience of Sage Collective President Donna Gaines last week, this week we interviewed Dwain Kyles, an attorney and entrepreneur. He also serves as the Vice President Legal and Development of Sage Collective and a member of our Board of Directors.
Why did you personally take the COVID-19 vaccine? Did you have any reservations or questions? Do you feel you had all the information you needed to make the decision to be vaccinated? What /who were your sources of information and guidance?
I got the vaccine because I have chronic health conditions that make me a person that might not survive a COVID infection. I’m not ready to die.
I was skeptical at first because the politicization of the whole issue, as well as the historical timeframe required for developing and testing new vaccines, left me doubtful that a vaccine could be developed in such a short time. I am an avid news junkie, and as I saw more and more news reports and interviews with African American doctors and scientists who participated in the development and testing of the vaccine, I learned that the underlying technology involved in the vaccine has been around for more than a decade, they simply didn’t have the concentrated resources and demand to bring the vaccine to fruition.
I was also persuaded by the high profile public officials in healthcare, science and government that were getting the vaccine in front of the whole world. They wouldn’t do that if they were afraid that they would have adverse reactions or if they thought the shots wouldn’t work.
When did you receive your COVID-19 vaccine and from what company (Moderna, Pfizer, etc.)? What was the experience of signing up/scheduling? Have you received both shots? Where did you have to go to get your vaccinations? What was the experience like of getting into the chair and actually receiving the shot?
I got the Moderna vaccine last week. That was the soonest we could get it. It was my first shot. We were fortunate to have been signed up by a friend who is a public official. We were called about a week after he signed us up. We were in line in our car for about an hour and a half in the parking lots of a church that was not too far from where we live here in Florida. I simply rolled up my sleeve, after filling out my data sheet and handing it to the healthcare worker who gave me the shot. The shot itself was quick and pretty painless.
How did you feel after receiving the vaccine, physically or otherwise? Did you experience any side effects?
I did have soreness at the injection site for a few days afterward, but other than that, I have had no side effects at all.
What is your doctor saying about how COVID-19 vaccination fits into your long term health plan? Are you taking any aftercare measures — if so, what?
Frankly, my doctor doesn’t know enough to speculate about how long the vaccine will last or when I might need to get another shot. We have agreed to continue to talk about it, so that as he learns more, he can share more.
Are you serving as a guide to others who are seeking information and reassurance about being vaccinated?
I’m sure that anyone who knows me knows that I am an advocate for getting this shot as soon as you can. If you want to get back to some semblance of a normal life, then this vaccine is essential. Remember, it won’t necessarily keep you from catching COVID, but it significantly enhances your chances of surviving an infection without serious illness, or death, being a likely outcome.
Overall, what do you believe makes COVID-19 vaccination so important to society writ large, and in your specific community?
My community is disproportionately impacted by the most serious negative outcomes from COVID, as well as most other chronic diseases. Accordingly, if we are to survive this pandemic and reclaim anything like the lives we had, it simply cannot happen if we don’t vaccinate as many of our people as we possibly can, as soon as we can … period.