Why some African Americans are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – There are more COVID-19 vaccination hubs opening in East Texas, but not everyone wants the vaccine. Some African Americans are hesitant about this new medical discovery.

One significant reason for this is the history between African Americans and the medical industry.

From 1932 to 1972, the US Public Health Service conducted experiments on African American men who suffered from syphilis.

Doctors told more than 600 participants they were receiving free health care and treatment, but they never got treated.

Instead, the physician’s purpose was to observe as the disease destroyed the men’s bodies.

Now, as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to grow, physicians at UT Health are urging African Americans in East Texas to get the vaccine, despite their fears.

This is because they are seeing the severe effects the virus can have on some people.

“Again, I encourage everyone to take the vaccine. This virus is very severe when you get it, you can die from it, and if you don’t die from it can lead to long lasting effects,” said Chiagozie Nwasuruba, a UT Health doctor.

Cornelius Shackleford, a community leader, talked about his hesitancy regarding the vaccine.

“Anytime the government has introduced something that’s scientific and something supposed to be backed by facts it has negatively affected the minority community,” said Shackleford.

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