Vaccine Hesitancy Dropping Faster Among Black Americans Than White Americans

Vaccine Hesitancy Dropping Faster Among Black Americans Than White Americans

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Many Americans remain hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, especially in certain parts of the United States.

However, a new study from Ohio State’s College of Public Health found that while Black Americans were initially more hesitant than White Americans to get vaccinated, hesitance dropped faster among Black people.

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“The thing we noticed is that they’re more likely to come to believe over time that the vaccine is necessary to protect themselves and their community. And that could be an explanation for why overall Black Americans are becoming more willing to use the vaccine,” says lead study author Dr. Tasleem Padamsee.

Dr. Padamsee notes that initial vaccine hesitance among Black Americans may have been due in part to historical mistrust of the medical community and the focus should now be on access to vaccines since fewer Black people are vaccinated than White people.

“It’s probably not hesitance, and that makes us have to look at the other bucket of reasons why people might not be vaccinated. Those problems have to do with the ability to get transported to a vaccine site, knowing where one is near you, being worried that you won’t be able to take time off work,” Dr. Padamsee said.

Jennifer Saunders was skeptical at first about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“You know, as I’m sure everybody was because I really didn’t have a lot of research knowledge about it,” she said.

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So, Saunders attended some events in her community to get more information about COVID.

“It could actually be more deadly to a person with underlying conditions, especially like diabetes, because it could have affected me a totally different way if I were to get it without the vaccine,” Saunders said.

Saunders got her shot in April.

“Basically, the pros outweigh the cons for me at the end of the day,” she said.

Saunders got her booster in November and hopes more people choose to protect themselves.

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COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Black Americans in hospitalizations and deaths, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

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