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Coronavirus vaccine will face a distrust in the Black community; Doctor says education is the key to gaining trust again

Vaccine fears in the black community
Vaccine fears in the black community
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 2:41 PM CST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published on December 9, 2020 at 8:40 PM CST - Updated December 9 at 8:40 PM on waff.com )

FLORENCE, Ala. (Great Health Divide) - A significant percentage of Americans are reluctant to receive a vaccination according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

That same survey found only 42 percent of African Americans say the would be willing to be vaccinated.

That’s compared to 63 percent of Hispanics and 61 percent of White people.

“I have a lot of skepticism about it because it’s really fast. I’m sure there have been a lot of testing already but at what cost?”

Detrik Pruitt said he will not take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Dr. Javar Myatt-Jones said America’s history of racism in medical research and a lack of trust in the federal government is making some Black Americans hesitant to take the vaccine.

“Considering the tragic history of all of the unethical studies that have been done to African American’s in general, I think there’s just a general mistrust of medical research as a whole,” said Dr. Myatt-Jones.

He said he fears that vaccine hesitancy could result in some Black people not being vaccinated as COVID-19 continues to batter their communities at disproportionate rates.

“The most recent death rate I saw is that it’s almost two to three times more likely to cause mortality in the African American community and Considering that the risk is so great that we really can’t afford not to try any potential benefit that’s out there for us,” said Dr. Myatt-Jones.

A study released by the COVID Collaborative, the NAACP and UnidosUS found that only 14 percent of Black Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe and 18 percent trust it will be effective.

We asked a few people online if they plan to take a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available,

Here are a few responses:

Social media poll answers
Social media poll answers(Source: WAFF)
social media poll answers
social media poll answers(Source: WAFF)

“Tuskegee Syphilis study. I need the research before anything.”

“Not until I know for sure that its effective in others.”

Dr. Myatt-Jones said education is the key to gaining the trust of Black Americans.

“A question that I’m asked often by my patients is why this vaccine was developed so soon and a lot of that just takes educating the population on the technology, educating them on what high efficiency means for an individual, educating them on informed consent,” said Dr. Myatt-Jones.

Right now in Alabama African Americans make up 34 percent of COVID-19 deaths but only make up 26.8 percent of the population.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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