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Building Trust in COVID Vaccines: Editorial

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The United States got better news about the COVID-19 vaccine last week. This is the second potential vaccine that early data from clinical trials have shown to be at least 90% effective against the disease.

If the Food and Drug Administration grants an emergency license for one or both vaccines, doses may be distributed from late December and the country has the most powerful tool ever for a pandemic.

But no matter how effective the vaccine is or how quickly it becomes available, the vaccine is pandemic, especially if too few African Americans are most vulnerable to serious illness or death from COVID-19. It is not a powerful tool for. Take a shot.

And as Brett Chase of the Sun-Times report On Sunday, distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine is deeply rooted among African Americans. They are less likely to volunteer for clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Opinion polls have consistently shown that African Americans are unlikely to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The numbers are clear. Blacks make up 13% of the US population, but more than 20% of deaths from COVID-19 and only 3% of those enrolled in vaccine trials. New England Journal of Medicine..

A black man, like 68-year-old Bonnie Blue, who volunteered to participate in vaccine research, told the Sun Times that he had warned his family not to participate. This is a familiar story in the black community, based on a well-documented history of blacks who have been the subject of government-approved unethical medical research, such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

“The distrust that has been built up over the years is well-founded,” Dr. Monica Peak, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, told the Sun Times.

The healthcare system has a lot to do to overcome its prolonged mistrust. State and federal governments are planning public education campaigns to encourage people to vaccinate, requiring special efforts to reach the African-American community, vaccinate people and save lives there is.

“African Americans are being disproportionately burdened by this pandemic,” Peak said. “If African Americans refuse to vaccinate, it will be a double tragedy.”

There are promising signs that skepticism about vaccines is waning, but stubborn racial disparities remain.so Gallup poll Sixty-one percent of white Americans from October 19th to November 1st said they would be vaccinated. This is an increase from 54% last month. Among people of color, vaccination motivation increased from 40% to 48%.

“There is a problem of trust-a big, distrustful, very effective problem,” Blue said of her decision to participate in the vaccine trial. “I see why my family was upset, but this is bigger than I am.”

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