Editorial: Racial dynamics affecting trust in COVID vaccine

Staff Editorial

A new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only about half of American adults said that they would get a COVID-19 vaccine when available.

About one quarter of those surveyed said that they are unsure if they will get the vaccine and one quarter said they would not.

The survey also found that older Americans are more likely to get the vaccine than younger Americans and that more men said they will receive the vaccine than women.

The group that responded with the lowest support for the vaccine was Black Americans, with only 24 percent saying they would get the vaccine and 40 percent saying they would not.

We at The Daily Eastern News believe that it is important to understand why Black Americans have less faith in the vaccine than white Americans, and their concerns are not unfounded.

Some of this distrust can be traced back to the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which was conducted from 1932 until 1972 by the CDC, among others.

The purpose of the study was to study the progress of untreated syphilis and all of the 600 participants were poor Black men from rural communities.

They were told that they were receiving free medical treatment, but were never given any treatment at all and were never informed of their diagnosis or the real reason for the study.

The effects of this malpractice is still being felt today among Black communities. It is understandable that they feel this way.

America’s history with racism is present in every part of our society, even when it is difficult to see. Acknowledging this is the first step toward ensuring equality in society and in the medical field, where it can truly be a matter of life and death for those involved.