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'Heartbreak on top of heartbreak': California's first surgeon general navigates the pandemic [latimes.com]

 

By Marissa Evans, Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2021

When Dr. Nadine Burke Harris received her COVID-19 vaccine in Oakland last month, she internally rejoiced.

As California’s surgeon general, the state’s top physician, she was glad to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to show others it was safe. But one of the most critical parts of the pandemic’s vaccine rollout — reassuring Black and brown communities that the vaccines available are safe — is an ongoing task.

“I think that I myself probably didn’t realize how ... just that level of tension that I was holding, you know, around it,” Burke Harris said in a recent interview. “The fear of exposure, the fear of getting sick, it wasn’t even conscious for me. It was that awareness, that idea of being protected. ... I would, of course, want everyone to feel that feeling.”

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