This Vaccination Rollout Is Going Exactly as Terribly as You Knew It Would
Black folks don’t trust the system because this is what it looks like when it works
As far as the effort to vaccinate my Black ass goes, I don’t require much in the way of convincing. Whatever gets me back to some semblance of normal life — which in my case would be the ability to rap Cardi B’s “Up” out loud at a bar, party, or Walmart parking lot in the South maskless without fear of death — I’m down. But based on my text messages, conversations with select kinfolk, and surveying social media, others in my demo are going to need a wee bit more convincing.
In a New York Times op-ed released on Sunday, more than 60 Black members of the National Academy of Medicine pleaded with Black people to get vaccinated for Covid-19. “We feel compelled to make the case that all Black Americans should … protect themselves from a pandemic that has disproportionately killed them at a rate 1.5 times as high as white Americans … a rate that is most likely very conservative,” wrote Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD and Georges C. Benjamin, MD.
Their concern stems from the fear that disinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines have only worsened the “absolutely warranted distrust of health institutions in Black communities.” Of particular concern to the authors was a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that 43% of Black Americans were taking a “wait and see” approach to vaccination.
I understand the rush to get as many Black folks in the vaccine line as possible, but many of us have no idea what line to put our loved ones in.
The thing is, that’s in keeping with a December survey in which some 62% of Black Americans said they will probably or definitely get vaccinated against Covid-19. Whatever skepticism is out there, you can’t reduce it to racial lines: On the same day the Times op-ed was released, a new Axios/Ipsos poll found that 63% of U.S. adults say they have had or are likely to get the Covid-19 vaccine once…