Vaccine hesitancy in the Black community doesn’t differ much from others

Government officials and social media companies fight Covid-19 vaccine misinformation.
Government officials and social media companies fight Covid-19 vaccine misinformation.(WOIO)
Updated: Mar. 21, 2021 at 12:41 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - National studies are showing there’s little difference in distrust between Black and white people towards the COVID-19 vaccine, but Black communities are still coming together hoping to build trust and access in their neighborhoods.

On Saturday, a panel discussion called The Black Church, Social Media, and the COVID-19 vaccine was focused on Black leaders coming together to educate and expedite trust and confidence within their communities towards receiving the vaccine.

Dr. Beverly Gaines, one of the panelists talked about limited access for black people getting vaccinations.

“I’ve been told by people that they’ll go get in line for their shot and they’ll be told it’s not your time, but they’ll see a whole line of Caucasian Americans in their neighborhood lining up for vaccinations,” Dr. Gaines said. “I call that misinformation; I call that a barrier to care.”

Numbers are showing hesitancy isn’t higher in the Black community than in others.

A National Public Radio (NPR) poll showed 73 percent of Black people said that they either planned to get a coronavirus vaccine or had done so already, 70 percent of white people said the same. But just like in every community, there’s distrust.

That’s why one local pastor, Pastor Charles Duncan, with First Virginia Avenue Missionary Baptist Church is holding his congregation accountable.

On Thursday, Pastor Duncan partnered with Norton Healthcare to vaccinate hundreds of people.

“I have had both shots, so I’m standing for the congregation.” Pastor Duncan said. “Pay no attention to what other people are saying about not taking the shot, take the shot. It’s good for you and it’s good for the community.”

As of Monday, 14 percent of Black Kentuckians have been vaccinated, and 20 percent of white Kentuckians. Officials have been working in communities to make vaccines more accessible.

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