Vaccine hesitancy amongst the Black community

“Even if they offered me a million dollars, I don’t think I’d take the shot.”
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 10:25 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Data from the CDC suggests less than nine percent of black people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Many say the reason for this is vaccine hesitancy. News Leader 9 spoke with people around the Fountain City, and all have a similar viewpoint.

Some Black people don’t trust the vaccine because of a lack of trust in the government. According to CDC statistics, of the 58% of people have identified their race for the COVID-19 vaccine, almost two thirds were white, 16% were Hispanic, and 9% were black.

While that is a small percentage of the population, some people like Kameron Leatherwood isn’t ruling out getting vaccinated.

“The black community in general are afraid in general of anything that’s new.”, said Leatherwood, a Columbus man.

Sarah Denise told News Leader 9, she believed it was important for her to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to protect those around her.

“Well I’d say definitely do your research. Do it for yourself. It’s a personal decision that’s what I believe.”, said Denise. “To me I think it is a personal decision but I think it’s important for protecting our community.”

However, Alex Battle, a Columbus woman, said she did do her research, and her family made the decision to say no to the shot.

“I look at the misinformation that was brought out about COVID in the beginning, and how they put the vaccination together so fast.”, said Battle. “Doctor’s push for someone like me to get vaccinated because I’m diabetic but they don’t know the after affects. I haven’t seen where black people should trust the government.”

According to Battle, a part of her argument is the government hasn’t exactly earned the trust of the black community back yet. According to Pam Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department, part of the hesitancy might have something to do with the Tuskegee Experiments.

According to Marcia Hollingsworth, her past experience with a vaccine is the reason why she won’t get vaccinated against COVID-19.

”I used to be in the military, and I never got any vaccine besides the flu shot, and I was forced to and I got sick. I’m not a person who gets sick so that’s why I didn’t take it.”, said Hollingsworth. “Even if they offered me a million dollars, I don’t think I’d take the shot. I just think it’s a personal preference. I don’t think it’s cool to badger people who haven’t taken it.”

Columbus Health Department officials told News Leader 9 they’re still working to get to hard to reach communities and help them make informed decisions when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.