cameron webb variant covid vaccine
Dr. Cameron Webb is a senior policy advisor for equity for the White House COVID response team. (AP Photo)
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The Black Wall Street Times

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Dr. Cameron Webb, the policy director on racial equity for the Biden administration’s Covid Response Team knows that people are experiencing Covid fatigue. In a most recent interview with The Black Wall St Times, he said, “The reward for getting vaccinated? Get another vaccine; a booster,” with a rueful chuckle.

Of course, Dr. Webb is focused on vaccinating as many people as possible, especially now that the omicron variant has reached the United States. He notes that while we don’t know the intensity of sickness caused by the omicron variant, we do know it’s highly transmissible. 

And the ways to fight it are the same recommendations the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been making for nearly two years now: wear a mask, maintain social distance, get tested — and get vaccinated. 

state of emergency pediatric bed
Nurse Nellie Smith held the hand of Kayden Tree, 8, before inserting a swab into his nose for a COVID-19 test specimen at CareSTL Health in North St. Louis on Monday, May 11.

More work to be done

Dr. Webb confirmed that while vaccine rates are high among adults in the United States, there is still more work to be done. According to Dr. Webb, approximately 70% of adults have had at least one immunization against Covid. 

He credits the efforts of community organizers, leaders, and public places for encouraging a strong vaccine response. There are currently over 80,000 Covid vaccine sites, including those at schools, barbershops, and community centers. 

The Biden administration’s response to Covid goes beyond vaccine clinics, though. The Covid task force recently released 55 recommendations, including paid time off for workers to get vaccinated, promoting affordable housing and childcare, as well as recommendations for environmental justice. “It’s all related,” said Dr. Webb. 

One in 480 Black Americans have died from COVID-19
In this April 22, 2020, file photo, pallbearers, who were among only 10 allowed mourners, walk the casket for internment at the funeral for Larry Hammond, who died from the coronavirus, at Mount Olivet Cemetery in New Orleans. Government health officials say Native Americans, Latinos and Black people are two to three times more likely than whites to die of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

U.S. Covid death toll: 800,000

He also encourages parents to get their children vaccinated. Both of Dr. Webb’s children have received the Covid vaccine. “Our kids wear seatbelts; they wear helmets when they ride their bikes. Getting a covid vaccine is no different; it’s about protecting kids and keeping them safe.” 

Dr. Webb understands that some parents are hesitant. “You don’t have to be the first in line to get your kids the vaccine,” he said, “But get your kids the vaccine.” He encouraged parents to talk to their children’s pediatricians and other trusted medical professionals for guidance.

Meanwhile, Dr. Webb is realistic about continuing the battle against the virus. It’s killed over 800,000 U.S. residents, including one in every 100 seniors. But as part of the Biden administration, he says he’ll never give up fighting on behalf of the American people.

“Wear a mask, keep your distance, get vaccinated, and get tested to help prevent community spread. Everyone can do their part in this battle,” Dr. Webb said.

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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