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Historical distrust of government, healthcare industry leads African-Americans to hesitate over COVID-19 vaccine

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While African-American COVID- 19 infection rates are disproportionately high compared to whites, and their COVID-19 vaccination rates are also much lower, in part because of vaccine hesitancy.

To address health disparities that negatively impact African Americans, MU’s Wilson Majee led a study to Gain a better understanding of factors affecting African Americans. Causes African-American hesitancy about a COVID-19 vaccine. He found that a combination of factors, including historical distrust of government and personal experiences of racism in the health care system, contributed to African-American hesitancy about a COVID-19 vaccine.

Majee interviews church leaders, lifestyle coaches and participants of Live Well by Faith, a Boone County Health A faith-based community health program operated by the Bureau to promote healthy living and address chronic health conditions in predominantly African American communities in Boone County, Missouri. Historical distrust of government and personal experiences of racism within the health care system are both common themes in the reluctance of members of the African American community to vaccinate against COVID-19.

“The Tuskegee Syphilis Study has been cited multiple times as the basis for unethical federal medical treatment of African Americans. A popular example is that once trust is lost, it is very difficult to regain it even as time passes,” said Majee, an associate professor in MU’s School of Health Professions. “One respondent referred to the federal government’s shared reminder to never forget the tragic events of September 11, 2001, but African-Americans are expected to forget their own federal government’s unethical research practices and injustice and race history of ism.”

Majee also recounted the story of another interviewee who tested positive for COVID after Reflected on my personal experience in the healthcare industry – 19.

“This old man went to the hospital and was sent home, He went back to the hospital after deteriorating, but was sent home again,” Magee said. “When he went back for the third time, he was told they had made a mistake and he had been given a hospital bed so he could monitor it, and he couldn’t help but wonder if his experience would have been different if he hadn’t been Blake? “

Other factors contributing to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy include how fast a vaccine is being developed, the lack of black people who provide it Doctor vaccines and misinformation spread on social media.

Majee Supplements Social Determinants of Health, Including African Americans Tend to Be Poorer, Access to Education, Health Care and Health Reduced access to food, and structural determinants of health, including that African Americans tend to be affected by racism in housing, education, employment, and the health care industry, all together lead to worse health outcomes for African Americans .

“African-Americans are more likely to work in low-paying face-to-face jobs in the crowdd and cannot accommodate working from home or socializing distance, so they are more likely to be exposed and infected with COVID-19,” Majee said. “Combined with African-Americans who are already poorer and less likely to afford quality health insurance, a historical distrust of government, and an individual’s negative experiences with the health care industry, you quickly see how all of these factors start to work together. Negative impacts affect African-American health outcomes.”

Community health programs, such as Live Well, are helping Addressing these inequalities has played a key role, Majee said. Obtaining accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine from trusted community members, such as African American church leaders and lifestyle coaches, plays an important role in promoting positive health outcomes.

“African American members of black churches trust the message they receive because it comes from someone they trust, see look like themselves,” Magee said. “The key to the ‘Live Well’ program is that it’s rooted in the community, and we’re seeing it help get more African Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Majee’s primary research goal is to find ways in which those in power, including local, state and federal governments, church leaders, researchers, and adult role models, allocate resources to the disadvantaged in the community group.

“My passion is to empower people in communities with limited resources by listening to their ideas and allocating resources resources to develop interventions that meet the needs of difficult populations,” Majee said. “There is a great need to improve the health of minorities because the disparities are huge and will continue to widen if we don’t act now.”

“So Existed in the Past: Using Qualitative Data to Understand Hesitancy About COVID-19 Vaccines in African American Adults” published in Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Differences .

More info: Wilson Majee et al, Past is Present: Understanding African Hesitation About a COVID-19 Vaccine United States Using Qualitative Data for Adults, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
(2022). DOI: 10.1007/s40615-022-01236-3

Citation : Historical Distrust of Government, Healthcare Industry Leads to African-Americans’ Response to COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy (July 23, 2022), Retrieved September 2, 2022 from

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