I’m not an anti-vaxxer. In fact, I truly believe that most anti-vaxxers are pseudointellectual faux-spriracy theorists whose “research” ends at whichever YouTube doctor is saying the thing they’ve already decided was true before receiving any real info at all.
That being said, I understand Black anti-vaxxers. From the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments to the story of Henrietta Lacks, a history of intentional medical malfeasance committed and weaponized against Black people makes us understandably wary of vaccines. There have been entire studies done on Black people and our distrust of medical practices in America.
Fortunately, there have been efforts to reach out to the Black community, ease our concerns and dispel misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, a new survey shows a sharp increase in Black confidence in the safety of the vaccine and willingness to get vaccinated.
From the Associated Press:
A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in late March found about 24% of Black American adults say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated. That’s down from 41% in January.
The executive director of the American Public Health Association,Dr. Georges Benjamin, says attitudes toward the vaccine among Black Americans have taken “almost a 180-degree turnaround” as outreach campaigns have sought to combat misinformation.
According to AP, the “latest number shows Black Americans leaning against getting shots is now nearly the same as white Americans at 26% and Hispanic Americans at 22%.”
Last year, The Root reported that a group of Black medical professionals released an open letter encouraging Black people to take the vaccine when it is “safe and effective.”
We also reported that family members of Black men involved in the Tuskegee experiments also said they would get the vaccine and they encouraged other Black people to do the same.
Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, encouraged Black people to get vaccinated and emphasized the fact that a Black woman was heavily involved in developing the vaccine.
In fact, one of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines administered in the U.S. went to a Black critical care nurse in New York.
Listen: I’m not trying to sound like an infomercial for the vaccine, but I have gotten mine and I do believe we are better off getting vaccinated than we are going without because we just don’t trust a healthcare system that exists in a nation of white supremacy. Again, I get it, I’m just saying this is a pandemic that affects everyone, not an experiment that specifically targets Black people.
So I guess the only question is: Will you get yours?