The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the country, causing many businesses to close and leaving many Americans without jobs. When news of a coronavirus vaccine coming to the market started to make the rounds, many people, particularly in the Black community, were expressed skepticism about taking it due to a history of medical racism toward Black patients.
A new study proves as much, showing that Black Americans are among the most skeptical about taking the vaccine once it becomes available. The Pew Research Center released a survey back in December showing that only 42% of Black Americans said they would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine once available in comparison to 83% of Asian Americans, 61% of Whites, and 63% of Hispanics.
In efforts to encourage Black Americans to take the vaccine — as the community is one of the hardest-hit by the coronavirus crisis — many political figures have taken different steps to instill more public trust in vaccinations. Recently, Howard University released a PSA for students and faculty lead by President Wayne A. I. Frederick with the campus medical team. (Watch the video below.)
“I understand there is a lot of hesitancy in minority communities across the country when it comes to healthcare, but this is not an American experiment on Black people. The vaccine is a worldwide cure to end a global pandemic and set us on a path back to normalcy,” said Howard University Hospital CEO Anita Jenkins, who is featured in the PSA getting her shot, in a statement sent to BLACK ENTERPRISE. “We want the public to know that we trust the science, we’re leading by example, and taking the vaccine will help us end this pandemic and the tragic loss of life.”
Recently, Rep. Jamaal Bowman and baseball legend Henry Aaron received vaccinations and suggested Black Americans follow suit.