Vaccine trials facing community mistrust

Vaccine trials facing community mistrust

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Different COVID-19 vaccine trials are going on around the country, but they need participation from Blacks and other minority groups. That may prove more difficult than researchers first thought.

Political scientist and former Savannah State University professor Dr. Joseph H. Silver, Sr. tells WTOC current and past wrongs could stop many from signing up.

Some say that under-representation in vaccine trials could be because of the mistrust some have for the U.S. medical system.

“Many of our parents and grandparents have had terrible experiences with the healthcare industry,” said Dr. Silver.

Dr. Joseph H. Silver is a political scientist and the president of an educating consulting firm, Silver & Associates.

He’s written new book called “Pandemic, Public Health, Race and Class: The American Challenge.” It focuses on COVID-19, the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, the impact on society and what he believes could’ve been done better.

When it comes to African Americans participating in a vaccine trial, Dr. Silver says the historical discrepancies, mixed messages from leaders, wrongs done to African Americans, like the Tuskegee Syphilis study, and lack of medical resources have lead to mistrust in the community.

“I think it’s part of the larger society in terms of where we are with race and where we are with class and the hierarchy that has existed in this country for a long time. So black people are a little weary in terms of the vaccine.”

However, Dr. Silver says that could change if more education is provided and people see those they trust participate in a trial. He also says providing resources and treating everyone, especially essential workers, like a vital part of the community is how we should fight this virus.

“We need to make sure that we look at everybody as an important entity in this society and put value on everyone’s life to the point that we will make sure that in everybody’s community that they have resources from a medical standpoint and a public health standpoint to do what’s necessary to fight this virus.”

You can find out more information on Dr. Silver’s book here.

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