Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Health Experts Say COVID-19 Vaccine Won’t Be Effective Unless Trials Include Black Participants


*Health care experts are claiming that a COVID-19 vaccine will work only if trials include Black participants. 

For months, COVID-19 officials have claimed that Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. More than 116,000 in the U.S. have died from the deadly disease, and almost a quarter of those were Black, according to a study called Color of Coronavirus by APM Research Lab.

“And that’s why I do what I do,” said Calethia Hodges, a clinician at Infinite Clinical Trials outside Atlanta, per NBC News.  “And that’s why I am here, in this neighborhood that is predominantly African American.”

Hodges wants people from urban communities to participate in clinical trials to help find a vaccine. But she’s finding that Black folks don’t trust the medical institutions or experimental drugs. 

“The reasons I hear African Americans will not participate are heartbreaking and disappointing,” Hodges said. “I have heard about the Tuskegee experiment a lot. And I have heard ‘They [doctors] will give me the virus.’ And ‘They will put a chip inside me.’ Many say their parents raised them ‘to never participate in medical research.’ It’s all tough to overcome.”

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Don Lemon Says Trump’s Claim He Made Juneteenth ‘Famous’ is ‘Laughable and Sad’ [VIDEO]

black woman - coronavirus1 (getty)

Dr. Larry Graham, a retired pulmonologist, says Black Americans need to get over their mistrust. 

“Genetics related to racial differences make it essential that we be involved in broad-based and diverse clinical trials of medications and vaccines,” he said. “The expanding discipline of pharmacogenetics has taught us that we may respond differently than other races to both medicines and vaccines. We must be sure it works in Black folks. This can only be determined by our inclusion in the research-based trials of such vaccines.”

Meanwhile, Hodges is banking, in part, on her Blackness to convince people of color to be volunteer to be lab rats. 

“They see me and give me a chance to at least share my information with them,” she said.

“When the patient with cancer hears, ‘There’s nothing else we can do,’ they turn often to clinical trials,” Hodges said. “It’s the last resort. With the coronavirus, the question becomes: ‘Would you rather be on a ventilator or try a drug?’ That’s a view that might get people to participate.”

Here’s more from Newsweek:

Of the 1,003 U.S. adults who took part in the nationally representative telephone survey, 29 percent said they definitely would get a vaccine if and when one becomes available, while 35 percent said they are unlikely to or definitely would not.

A quarter of whites and 35 percent of Hispanics, meanwhile, said they probably or definitely would not get vaccinated. And 26 percent of white respondents and 27 percent of Hispanics were confident the vaccine will be safe and effective.

coronavirus - covid19

Meanwhile, Maybank explained the simple way to bridge the divide.   

“With any relationship, you build it,” she said. “Folks doing work from leading institutions have asked, ‘How do we build trust?’ Well, it’s not rocket science. It’s about building relationships. Are you getting to know me beforehand? Are you speaking in a language I understand? Are the concepts broken down so that they are digestible? Are you present? Are you giving resources to our neighborhoods beforehand? That’s not rocket science. It’s building a relationship. That’s how you build trust. And trust is a fundamental value in humans. There’s no rocket science behind it.”

Read more here, and check out the eye-opening clip above on the “truth” about the coronavirus

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Only if you trust any such vaccine—without knowing about everything in it—will be used for our benefit. Our trust has taken us down some “interesting” roads in America, to say the very least.

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