Otterbein Student Government Vice President Angel Banks Shares Why She is Getting the Vaccine

Posted Apr 02, 2021

Angel Banks ’21

Angel Banks ’21 is double major in psychology and criminology and justice studies. She is vice president of Otterbein University Student Government and president of the African American Student Union. She is a student leader and strong advocate for issues of social justice and racial equality. She shares her perspective on why she is getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and why she hopes others will, too 

I was unsure about whether I wanted to get the vaccine at first. In my community, there is a lot of distrust with the healthcare system and its ability to protect Black people. The uncertainties around the vaccines and the roll-out of the vaccines were alarming.  

But the fact is, the impact that COVID-19 has on Black and Brown communities is drastic.  

The reason I have chosen to now get a vaccine is that I attended a virtual symposium for Black History Month where I learned two things that stood out to me: 

1) Black and Brown people are the most likely to die from COVID-19 because of social, environmental, and cultural issues within our community. Lack of access and opportunity is playing a huge factor in our ability to survive this pandemic. 

2) Within Columbus, there are extreme disparities with vaccine distribution. People over 65 were one of the first groups to be eligible to get a vaccine. However, 92% of African Americans and 96% of Latinos are under 65. So once again we were left behind and unable to receive adequate care, and our life expectancy has decreased more than that of a white person during this pandemic. 

I hope that people receive the vaccine to protect themselves and their communities. Getting the vaccine matters to me, because I do not want any more of the people within my community to be impacted by the disparities within our healthcare system. These things matter in our attempt to preserve our communities.