Kalen Allen is an award-nominated actor, producer, singer, and television personality at just 25 years old. First making his mark in his “Kalen Reacts” videos, he was discovered in 2018 by Ellen DeGeneres and secured a content-creating role, but his creative work didn’t stop there. Allen joins Health IQ to discuss vaccinations and the hesitancy of the Black community towards getting them.
What’s your recipe for protecting yourself as you move through this pandemic?
I am fully vaccinated, [and the] vaccine is very much just like a flu vaccine. Understand that it does not mean that you won’t still get COVID, but it will make sure that you are able to survive COVID just like any other immunization. Personally, I still carry around my mask. [Though] I will say that I feel a little bit safer knowing that the vaccine is out and that people have been getting vaccinated.
How have you stayed up to date and informed yourself?
I definitely do my own research, and I do my own work for myself to understand the vaccine. And I understand the hesitation, especially when we talk about things such as the Tuskegee project and the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how that was handled by the government. I try to do my best and advocate for other people and make sure that they try and learn for themselves, instead of relying on social media, ads, or different publications to tell you what’s best for you.
What is the most outlandish thing you heard was going to happen if you got the vaccine?
I had this conversation the other day [with someone], they said they got in a car, a car-sharing service. And the driver told him that they were not getting the vaccine, because it turns people into frogs. That is probably the most insane thing that I’ve ever heard.
For those young people who are really looking to get their break, how can they actually build a career in the business today and build their brands?
As a young child, I always put myself in places and situations and made friends with the people that knew what I wanted my life to be. And I would create that energy in that space around me. Also, everything that I do is done with purpose and intention. There’s a lot of people that have aspirations but don’t necessarily do anything to get them to that point because they think it should just happen. Nothing that I did happened overnight. A lot of the time it happened behind the scenes.
Watch the complete interview here.