I was very glad that I scheduled and got the vaccine against COVID. Unfortunately, I did not see a single minority/Latino individual over the half-hour I spent at the site, Fundamentally, African- Americans are worried about the safety- there is a video I am sharing. “Voices from the Barbershop: Coronavirus Vaccine Edition,”
African-Americans have been victims of systemic medial racism (Tuskegee study, for example) and unfortunately this systemic discrepancy continues to this day. I was an ENT provider and noted this in our field as well. Our article: Ethnic and Gender Differences in Bone Erosion in Allergic Fungal Sinusitis. African- American patients, especially women presented usually much later and with bone destruction. Unfortunately, outcomes for African-Americans with cancer, and many other diseases are much worse-we don’t know why the outcomes are worse-genetic, environmental, cultural?
Given the challenging circumstances around COVID vaccinations are critical. Unfortunately, however, the COVID Collaborative poll indicates that 31% of African Americans have little or no knowledge of how vaccines work and 41% have little or no knowledge about how vaccines are developed and tested. Most of the misinformation however according to the pollsters is the result of honest confusion and an earnest attempt to find good information,”
So to solve this vexing problem, local, national campaigns are both needed. Public health and communication experts say that COVID information needs to have consistent strategy and messaging across all levels of governance. Who can play a critical role? A poll found that 85% of Black people trust their own local doctor or healthcare provider, followed by the local health department (79%), the CDC (78%), and federal COVID lead Anthony Fauci, MD (77%). (Only 12% trusted then-President Donald Trump.). Another crucial element is understanding that a lot of vaccines are given in non-conventional sites-like sports arenas pharmacies, etc. That’s why it’s so important that even at this final step, any vaccine hesitation is met with empathy, not shame.