As the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are rolling out and many of our front liners and seniors have received the vaccine there is still a large population who are hesitate in receiving the vaccine. The Black and Latinx communities are the largest groups that are still resisting.
Some of their beliefs are based on past racism and past health policies and clinical experiments that have targeted the vulnerable Black and brown communities.
The history of medical racism is complex and goes back for decades. One of the most disturbing examples is the Tuskegee Experiments which began in 1932 and finally ended in 1972 after Jean Heller of the Associated Press broke the story.
According to a recent study by the NAACP and the Covid Collaborative, only 14 percent of Black Americans and 34 percent of Latinx Americans say the have trust in the safety of the new COVID-19 vaccine.
Many of the readers of my blog are business owners who either own or refer to organizations that employ people of color to watch over our loved ones and clients. It is our job to help our employees, their families and friends understand the vaccine works and is necessary.
Normally and in most instances, vaccine confidence is the trust that patients, their families, and providers have in:
Providers who administer vaccines
Processes and policies that lead to vaccine development.
However, when we include cultural, social, and political factors this dynamic changes. According to the CDC the following are six ways to help build Covid-19 Vaccine Confidence:
Encourage leaders in your family, community, or organizations to be vaccine champions.
Have discussions about COVID-19 vaccines where people can openly discuss their views and ask questions.
Share key messages through multiple channels that people trust and that promote action.
Help educate people about COVID-19 vaccines, how they are developed and monitored for safety, and how individuals can talk to others about the vaccines.
Learn more about finding credible vaccine information. When you come across COVID-19 information, cross-check with CDC.gov and learn how to respond to misinformation you encounter.
When vaccine is offered to you, make visible your decision to get vaccinated and celebrate it!
There is still a long way to go. We have over 300 million people living in the US and only a small portion have been vaccinated so far. There are reports that come the summer more than half of the population will be vaccinated. The saying ‘In it together’ is still true and strong. We need everyone to pull together and do what we can to get our staffs vaccinated. We need to protect our clients, our families and our staff.
It will benefit everyone in the end.