By SHANEL THOMPSON
A group of bioethicists on Thursday warned that members of the Black community likely would resist Covid-19 vaccinations because of mistrust caused by historic medical trials that treated them as involuntary guinea pigs in experimental medical trials.
“You have the specter of people of color, who with their entire experience in this nation, leads them to have a distrust of healthcare and distrust of government,” said Healthcare Executive Dr. Reed Tuckson In a Webinar hosted by Carnegie Council of Ethics in International Affairs. “The disease of distrust is almost as hard to fight as the virus itself.”
On Wednesday the U.S recorded 3,157 deaths, a new record for deaths in a single day. As numbers continue to surge around the world and health officials brace for the worst, the Pfizer’s Covid vaccine has been approved in the U.K for emergency use adding pressure to the U.S Food and Drug Administration to quickly do the same. The first set of complete results from a late-stage vaccine trial showed that the drug is 95 percent effective and had no serious side effects.
But even with the approval of the vaccine in the U.S, a country with a corrupt past of taking advantage of black people in medical trails, the issue arises of how to convince black people to trust
and use the vaccine.
“There are people of color and there are communities that are in poverty who have had a long and horrible history and it gives them reasons to distrust not only public health institutions and research in particular but wider American institutions such as politicians and systems, that have been rigged from the beginning and continues to be rigged against them,” said Ruth R. Faden, founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.
A Survey published on Monday by COVID Collaborative, Langer Research, UnidosUS and the NAACP that set out to address “attitudes and impacts of Covid-19
vaccine hesitancy and resistance in the Black and Latinx communities.” showed that just 14 percent of the 1,050 Black people surveyed in early September said they trusted the vaccine would be safe and only 18 percent said that they believe it would be effective.
In the past, black people have been experimented on in inhumane trials such as in the Tuskegee Study and the ‘Mississippi Appendectomy’ and the feeling of mistrust is still present.
In a bid to garner public trust, it was announced on Thursday that Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have volunteered gto get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera to promote public confidence in the vaccine’s safety once the U.S Food and Drug Administration authorizes one.