I heard that...

The vaccine has a microchip in it

Separate truth
and rumour

I heard that...

The vaccine changes your DNA

Separate truth
and rumour

I heard that...

The vaccine is unsafe for pregnant women

Separate truth
and rumour

#LetsFindOutMore #VaccineKnowledge

the dope black vaccine

The Dope Black Vaccine Knowledge Project is a campaign Dope Black is running in partnership with Facebook and TeamHalo to raise awareness around the Covid 19 vaccines in the black community.

Dope Black wants to empower us by addressing the main questions and concerns you and your loved ones might have around the vaccines. This is so you can:


Be aware of what vaccines are out there and the real risks and benefits involved.


Be safe in the knowledge you’ve made an informed decision in taking or not taking the jab.

why is this important?

Black people are

2 times
more likely

to die of Covid 19 and have a higher infection rate than white people

for many reasons.


of black people aged 70 and over have received a first dose, compared to 88% for white people.

But we’re less likely to get vaccinated.


This distrust of the vaccine is in part due to:


False information online and on social media


The distrust of government and health institutions in the community.


The speed at which the vaccines were developed.

One of the reasons Black communities have a higher Covid 19 infection rate is that we make up a disproportionate number of key workers, those working on the frontline of this pandemic.

We have helped this country survive this crisis. We deserve to survive it too.

No matter who you are, you deserve to be aware of the real benefits and risks involved in the Covid 19 jabs.

what can
you do?

Be aware.

By reading all the information we’ve provided and join in on the conversation.

Be safe.

If you choose to get vaccinated here’s how

Advocate- Knowledge is power.

Share yours with those you know, send them to this page and encourage them to follow

#vaccineknowledge #letsfindoutmore

Dope Black

One Father’s Day Marvyn Harrison felt like he was failing as a father. He reached out to 23 other black fathers on whatsapp, thanking them for the example they set as “dope black dads.” That day Dope Black was born. Dope Black has since grown to include the intersections of the black community. Dope Black Mums, Women, Disabled, Queers, Men and Dads.


All aimed at creating safe spaces for their communities and sparking growth and change through having necessary conversations.

The dope Black



These questions are answered by Dr. Winston Morgan, a toxicologist, which means he is an expert in safety evaluation.

You’d need a toxicologist, for example, if you’re developing a new drug such as a vaccine, and the toxicologist will help design the experiments, the safety experiments, as well as interpret the results that come from those safety experiments.

How do vaccines work? hidden

Well, vaccines are designed to reduce the impact of the pathogen and pathogens are seen as foreign, and usually when you get a pathogen inside you, it triggers an immune response, and the human immune response could be antibodies or T cells. These are cells that protect us within weeks or of two to three weeks, and it will eventually help us to defeat the pathogen provided our immune system is working properly. 

Now once immunity is developed, it will last for many years. But if the development of immunity is slow or not efficient, for example, the people have spoken about people who have comorbidities. The pathogen can cause severe damage and including death. So a vaccine is a way of stimulating the immune system, the immune response, without the possibility of serious injury. So to do this, we give a weakened vaccine. That’s the traditional way you provide a weakened form of vaccines or a weakened virus or weakened pathogen. Or we might show a portion of the pathogen, such as the spike protein that everyone’s talking about and, more recently, modern vaccines. They instruct us to make the spike protein inside ourselves and then release it into our bodies. And suddenly, we have the spike protein, and that will cause an immune response to develop.

What are the differences between the vaccines that have been approved?

Now there are two types of vaccines that have been approved both in the UK and the USA. Thus, generally in the world, they differ in terms of their delivery systems because you have to deliver a weakened version or a portion of the virus into someone to get them to have a safe immune response. So there are two delivery systems, we have the Pfizer and Moderna type of vaccines, and these are RNA vaccines because the instructions to the cells to make the spike protein, which will cause the immune response, is done using RNA. Do not worry about what RNA is. It is just a instruction and it’s wrapped in a lipid envelope. Now, without this lipid envelope, RNA has the message that it would not be able to get into the cell or if it would be destroyed once it got into your body. So it needs to be wrapped up. Once it’s inside your body, inside your cells, the RNA can be released and then it can instruct your cells. The RNA contains direct messages to ourselves to make and then release the spike protein, triggering this immune response.

So that’s the first type of vaccine, RNA tiebacks and the other type produced by AstraZeneca, which is very common in the UK and also the recent Johnson & Johnson vaccines. These are called viral vector vaccines because of the instructions the cell is delivered in, if you like, delivered by an inactivated chimpanzee, cold or flu like virus. They do not affect humans, but they carry the same genetic information into ourselves, the exact instructions. Now, the virus that they use, this chimpanzee virus, as I said, has been inactivated and even if it was activated, it wouldn’t do us any harm as it can’t multiply but what it can do is deliver the message. This time the message is in the form of DNA. Once inside ourselves, this DNA is converted to RNA by the host and the RNA produces a spike protein.

When was the vaccine made?

What we need to do is basically think back to the start of the pandemic and when we started to take this seriously, that was around early 2020 and at the time, the Chinese released the genetic code of covid-19. And from that moment we were that we were then able to start the process of developing the vaccine. And so the scientists started to work on the vaccine using molecular biology techniques. I mean, sort of like complicated sort of cellular experiments and computer modeling. And eventually once they’d done that and they got something that looks like it could be a vaccine that tested in animals.

So these are animal models. So this stage is called preclinical testing. And what you’re trying to do is try to mimic what the vaccine would do in humans by using animal models, because at this time you don’t want to give a vaccine to humans because you don’t know whether it’s going to be safe or not.

You first tested extensively in animal models and then you look for things like side effects as well as adverse effects. You also look at animals to see if will this spike protein that you’ve induced in the animal, will it produce antibodies and T cells in the animals? Because it does that in animals? It’s likely to do that in humans. 

How long did it take for the vaccine to be created?

One of the things that people also ask me how long they take to produce, because I’ve been telling you about the fact that we started with these cellular experiments in animal studies.

OK, so the virus and that started early 2020. And what we’d have done is by summer 2020. They had over a hundred of these candidate vaccines, but many of them didn’t get through this preclinical stage. The animal testing either they didn’t have efficacy. That means they didn’t produce antibodies or they caused serious side effects. And so we decided not to use them. So you started with hundreds of candidates and you were left with about, you know, 10 or 20, and then those went into clinical trials

How long after you take the vaccine are you safe?

It usually takes about two to three weeks to get good immunity and for some of the vaccines you need two doses. So after two or three weeks a receiver of the vaccine will have good immunity. Then you give a second dose, which is like a booster dose, it will make it even stronger. So the answer is, after about two or three weeks, you will have some immune protection. And then over time that will get better, especially if you have a booster. That’s normally the convention with most vaccines and not just the COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine has been out for less than a year, what about long term side effects?

These tests have only been done since, if you like, summer 2020. So that’s about, we’re talking about six, eight months in terms of testing. But the thing about vaccines, whether they’re going to go around, they’re going to cause harm or if they’re going to be problems within hours of being injected or within weeks or months if nothing goes wrong. Normally, that’s what the historical evidence has always been. Vaccines tend to be once you don’t see anything happening within a few months, you know, nothing’s going to go wrong. So although we have to have the long term tests, we can be pretty confident that if you haven’t seen any of the adverse effects within, you know, the immediate injection or within a day or two of the injection or when the immune system starts to kick in, which is which sort of two or three weeks, you are not going to see any long term adverse effects.

Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women?

As with any vaccines given to either breastfeeding women or pregnant women, this vaccine, you create immunity. You pass on that immunity so that your baby is now protected. There’s been no recorded harmful effects to babies or breastfeeding women, therefore, this vaccine is recommended. It’s a risk of infection is higher than. There has been no recorded harmful effects of the vaccine to breastfeeding women. In fact, there has been no recorded harmful effects of the vaccine to breastfeeding women. In fact, the vaccine is recommended for pregnant women as they get to pass the immunisation on to their baby and actually prevent them from getting or dying from covid infection. The vaccine does not have a different effect on black people. When the trials are going on, the trials are done all over the world to test them, as we’re doing in the U.K. But with black people. The trials were also done in South Africa where there were black people and there is no difference between the effects on black people or white people. That vaccine affects everyone equally. So these things were done in clinical trials.

If my family had that vaccine and had no side effects, should I get the same one?

The side effects are an individual thing, so there is no guarantee that, for example, if your brother or sister didn’t have side effects, you won’t have side effects. It doesn’t quite work like that because it’s an individual thing. However, there are going to be some adverse effects that have a genetic or an environmental component. There you might find that there is a family link. So the answer is no one can guarantee that because your family member didn’t get side effects or you might have heard your brother or sister or parents say, “I had a really bad headache” or “I got a really strong fever when I got my vaccine”.

What are the known implications to my body if I take it?

They are:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick


Some people are concerned about what could the vaccine do to them in terms of long term effects on their body? But the vaccine is working like a pathogen, and we have evolved as humans to constantly encounter pathogens like viruses then deal with them. So all we will do is make antibodies and T cells to protect yourself. However, with the virus, if you get infected with the virus and you haven’t had the vaccine, you can have those serious short and long term effects of COVID-19. We all know what those serious side effects are. First of all, you can become seriously ill. And even when you recover from the virus and you clear the virus in your system, there are going to be those long term consequences of the havoc that the virus has caused in your body, particularly if you have comorbidities or you’re an older person.


Does the vaccine cause false positives for HIV?

There was a report because there was a clinical trial, I think, in Australia. And there are reports that although the vaccine that they were testing was looking to be very good, some of the antibodies that were produced in the individuals who were vaccinated would also give a positive for HIV. It didn’t mean that people had HIV, just meant that, because when you get a vaccine, your body produces a range of antibodies. And some of these antibodies were able to pick up HIV in a test. In one type of HIV test, so it wasn’t that HIV, the vaccine was giving you HIV was just giving you, according to these reports, a positive in an HIV test, but not in every HIV test, just a specific type of HIV test, which tells me that basically it was just antibodies binding to an antigen. Because of this confusion, the government and the company stopped using this vaccine. So it’s not one of the ones that have been approved. 

Is there a microchip in the vaccine?

I’ve seen no evidence of this both and I don’t believe the technology exists when people think of microchipping your pet. I don’t know if anyone’s had a pet and the vet might show you the microchip. It’s about the size of a pill, something like paracetamol or an ibuprofen, that kind of size and they put it in the skin of the animal. That’s where the technology is, and you can imagine you’ve seen the vaccine in a syringe, you could never get anything that size in a syringe needle to inject into someone. So basically, the technology isn’t there. The motivation isn’t there. If a government, which is what people have suggested wanted to track what you were doing, what you were saying and what you are where you are, they could basically tap into your mobile phone, as it is constantly giving away information about you and it will be far easier for them to do that. So I don’t think the vaccine has a microchip.

Is this vaccine safe for people with sickle cell?

I know, no one with sickle cell at the time was in the trials. With all of these things, you may have had the trait without actually having full-blown Sickle Cell, and you might have been on trial. I don’t know. But I know they were not specifically in the trial. What I do know is that sickle cell has been approved as one of the conditions where you can get the vaccine. And one of the reasons is that we know that if you have sickle cell, you’re one of those vulnerable groups where if you do get the virus, you are going to be in more trouble so it’s recommended that you take it. I would say in terms of if you have sickle cell, I would always talk to my doctor because your doctor will know your medical history. I’m going to suspect that your doctor is probably going to be the first that’s going to come to you and say, right, you have sickle cell, you should be getting the vaccine. If you haven’t had that conversation, you should be asking the doctor.

Why should I trust the government when they are funded by big pharma?

That’s a really interesting sort of what’s the role of Big Pharma in all of this? Is it that Big Pharma are trying to make money? And this was Big Pharma are trying to make money. But if you look at companies like AstraZeneca, for example, and Johnson Johnson, especially AstraZeneca. I know they’re doing it at cost price. So they’re not, at least initially, making lots of money from it. But that’s neither here nor there. Remember, governments are also funded by taxpayers. And and so the government is there to sort of look after our interests as well. And and also, the vaccines aren’t being recommended solely by governments. They’re recommended by the medical profession and other organizations who can see the benefits of the vaccine. So it’s not just the government workers who are recommending that we take the vaccine and it’s also not the pharmaceutical companies who are doing it with sort saying that we should take vaccines. We are taking the vaccines because people are taking part because they believe the vaccine will protect them from this very nasty virus.

Has the vaccine passed it’s trials and have Black people been included in the tests for the vaccine?

The exciting thing about these stages is they were we normally use 10 to 20 people at the first stage, 120 to 200 people in stage two and then perhaps a few thousand people in stage three because it was such an emergency and lots of people wanted to take part in these trials. We had many, many more people doing the clinical trials. That gives it a much more powerful statistical impact than previous clinical trials. In North America you have to use people from different ethnic backgrounds. So, for example, the American trials, they insist on about 10 percent of the people have to be Black and about five percent have to be Hispanic. You always make sure that you get a representation of different populations to get a fair and representable insight into whether the vaccine works. We’re now in stage four, and once you’ve got your vaccine or your drug authorised, it goes into phase four, which is where you’re giving it to the public whilst still have to keep monitoring it, because there are certain things you can’t discover in clinical trials, for example. People might behave slightly differently in the real world than in clinical trials, but more importantly, you are likely to give the vaccine to many more people. In the case of these vaccines, we’re talking about several hundred million people. This helps them identify very, very rare adverse effects that you never see in clinical trials when it’s rolled out so that the blood clot, for example, we didn’t see those in clinical trials because even though we use sort of like 50,000, 60,000 people, you wouldn’t see that because they were so rare. Now you’ve seen your blood clot in certain individuals and then you take that into the evaluation and then you can consider perhaps it shouldn’t go to certain populations.

Has the vaccine passed clinical trials?

So the question is, has the vaccine surpasses clinical trials? Yes.

The other thing I should tell people is that even when you have vaccine, you get vaccinated, although sort of like 90, 95 percent of the people will be protected. There are going to be some people who may or may not be protected. So it’s over. So if you also have to consider the possibility that some people might be vaccinated, may not be as protected as well as they think they are. And so one of the things you really want to do is if even if you as an individual are protected, if we can get lots of people to be vaccinated, that would protect the whole society. That’s the thing about herd immunity. That’s what that’s about by a lot of people protected and everyone’s protected, even those who can’t take the vaccine or who have taken the vaccine. But it the work as well for them.

Has the vaccine passed the clinical trials?

Yes. The other thing I should tell people is that even when you have the vaccine, you get vaccinated, although approx 90/95 percent of the people will be protected. There are going to be some people who may or may not be protected. So if you also have to consider the possibility that some people might be vaccinated, but may not be as protected as well as they think they should compared to others. So one of the things you really want to do is to get lots of people to be vaccinated, that would protect the whole society. That’s the thing about herd immunity.

Do you advise going to Non-Government sites for information on the vaccine?

I do, and I don’t because WHO and also and also CDC, the thing about those organisations, they’re the type of organisation that you can trust.  For example, John Hopkins University has a lot of information on their website, and so does a lot of other universities. So those would be other trusted places that people can go. The danger of moving away from that kind of more conventional websites is that you then get slowly taken into people who don’t have the data and are not obligated to provide the right kind of information and can say what they like. So that’s definitely astounding. That’s why you need to trust those traditional websites, so how do they find information that they do want to follow without going to government site, and it is really a difficult one, I suppose they’re going to be sort of community organisations and charities or even perhaps not national government sites, but be local governments, for example. I work with my local authority, where my university is based in Newham, East London. They provide information for the local people.

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