Covid-19 Vaccine: African Americans are the most hesitant to vaccinate among minority groups

Discussion to pay people to take the vaccine emerges as scientists rebuild trust and debunk myths about the vaccine.

The messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine against COVID-19 was years in the making; so is the mistrust in medicine present among minority groups which are still the most impacted by COVID-19.

Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable witnesses the vaccine hesitancy firsthand since his studies as the director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities focus on all these groups and poor people of all color. The director is a guest of America with an Accent.

Minorities will not be treated favorably when it comes to vaccine distribution. They will receive it as per CDC’s recommendation — based on health risks and age. When the vaccine becomes available, Dr. Pérez-Stable suggests that people with diabetes, followed by those with lung and heart diseases, should be the next in line to receive the vaccine, after healthcare workers, nursing home residents and essential workers.

Dr. Pérez-Stable assures that there will be vaccines for everyone, but it will take time. Mid-year is our best bet to have most of the population vaccinated.

That is, if the distribution left up to the states — inconsistent at best right now — picks up and one third of the population hesitant to vaccinate is convinced otherwise.

Dr. Pérez-Stable makes a strong plea to his peers, healthcare workers, clergymen, and community organizations at the local level to step up and advocate for the vaccine.

The internet is making things worse. Many scientists are debunking myths that circulate online about the side effects of the vaccine. Watch Dr. Pérez-Stable talk about side effects toward the end of the interview.

If the above strategies don’t work, then money might enter the picture. Dr. Pérez-Stable says that there is some discussion to pay people to get the vaccine or ask healthcare institutions to implement requirements for workers to take the vaccine.

Lastly, if these don’t work either, than the director insists on continuing to wear a mask, wash hands, keep physical distance and absolutely avoid indoor gathering.

Watch this interview with Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable who offers a comprehensive account of the health status of minority groups, almost a year after COVID-19 first appeared in the United States.

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January 18, 2021

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