New Orleans native Kimiyo Harris Williams, MD, is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Educating her patients and encouraging healthy habits has been the foundational framework of her practice of medicine.
Why did you have a desire to be a physician in the Black community?
There weren’t many of us, and still today, there aren’t many African American physicians. So I wanted to make a difference in our communities and show other people and other kids that there’s something that you can do. Just coming from a regular neighborhood, you can aspire to be whatever you want to be. I didn’t let that deter me from my dreams and goals, and I pushed forward. That was a major driving force for me.
What do you explain to people about being vaccinated and boosted?
I explain to them that the booster adds additional protection against getting severe disease, hospitalization or death from COVID. I sometimes say it’s kind of like wearing a seatbelt. We all wear a seatbelt, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get into an accident. It will potentially protect you from getting injured more severely if you’re in an accident. I say to them, that the vaccine and the booster [are] more protective. By getting the initial two doses of the vaccine, you increase your immunity against the virus, but we don’t know as a medical community how long those antibodies will protect you from the initial series.
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