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If traveling matters, this shot matters

Jordan Matamoro-Mejias Jordan Matamoro-Mejias, pre-med student, VCU College of Humanities and Sciences

Matamoro-Mejias knows why this shot matters: It saves lives.

The VCU pre-med student saw the effects of the virus firsthand when his parents got it. Both recovered. But COVID-19 has put a spotlight on racial health disparities, he said, with people of color being disproportionately impacted and lacking equal access to quality care.

Matamoro-Mejias is president of Black Men in Medicine, a group founded at VCU to address the scarcity of African American physicians and other health care providers. He is also co-founder of VCU P.R.IM.E. (Pre-Health and Related Interests Mentoring Experiences), a student-led initiative to support minority students in their journey toward becoming health care practitioners.

Matamoro-Mejias understands the skepticism many people feel toward vaccines, particularly among Black Americans. He’s confident, though, that getting the COVID vaccine will curb a menace that runs deep in that community.

“I do understand the concern,” he said. “There’s plenty of mistrust due to the historical trauma. But this is something different, and if we don’t get our vaccines, people will continue to lose their lives.”

To get vaccinated, go to vaccinate.virginia.gov. To read more stories like this, visit vcuhealth.org/thisshotmatters.