Some in the Black community say they don’t trust taking COVID-19 vaccine

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the pandemic began, the coronavirus hit Black and brown communities disproportionately. Yet, some people in those communities say they are not comfortable taking a vaccine.

“Something in my gut tell me it ain’t right, and I just stay prayed up,” Eric Herriford, Kansas City resident, said.

Studies show 40% of Black Americans like Herriford do not plan on taking the coronavirus vaccine.

“Like, no, I’m good on that,” Herriford said. “I’m not taking no vaccine.”

Some Black residents said they are hesitant because of America’s history of racism in medicine and their lack of trust in the government. Two of many examples are the 40 year Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment that happened in 1932 from 1972 and Henrietta Lacks, whose cancerous cells were studied and used without her consent.

“I’ve worked in the health field, and I have seen like a lot of these medications that now have class action lawsuits,” Dawn Poole, a Kansas City resident, said. 

So, how do you convince a community that’s been impacted by this virus the most to trust doctors and a vaccine? That’s a question health experts are wondering as they continue to persuade people to get vaccinated.

“I think you have to have a trustworthy message and a trust worthy messenger for that community,” Dr. Greg Poland, of the Mayo Clinic, said.

“I’ll do it,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “I think we will try to get every official Black person around here to do it. The moral to the point – we need family, we need friends, we need preachers. People that are grass top in the community.”

Lucas said if someone needs reassurance, he is signing up to get the vaccine.

“This is about saving lives,” Lucas said. “It’s about being safe. This isn’t the time to be conspiratorial or any of those sorts of issues. I will be making sure we reach all communities.”

While the number of Black adults who don’t want to be vaccinated are high, there are still some people who said they don’t want to take any chances.

“So, I don’t want to get the coronavirus,” Debora Johnson, Kansas City, MO Resident, said. “I don’t even want to take a chance like that. If it’s gone prevent me from getting it, that’s the reason I want to.”

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