I believe the perception of vaccines has changed amongst African Americans community because I feel like they are being heard, and they are being validated with their concerns with it. I think that providers are doing a much better job with answering questions and also making sure that families feel comfortable with the decisions they have to make. I think that sometimes people have been made to feel shameful about their decisions and I think the shame is leaving.
Dr. Shaquita Bell
I do think the African American community is shifting our view on vaccines because there are more of us in medicine, more of us delivering vaccines, more of us having conversations about what are in medicines, what are in vaccines, and what is impacting our community. I think we’re becoming more informed and more empowered to take ownership over our health and to service each other with the best options there are.
I think our community is coming around. They, the government, still has a lot of explaining and informing [to do] [in our] communities with factual data and information and to become more consistent with their information. I know virus’ change or mutate and science has to navigate those changes, but they need to be more unified in their messaging and the information they are putting out there.
The Black community has definitely progressed in their views on the vaccine. There has been more and more information that has been available, and I think that has helped to ease the hesitancy. I think that seeing the consequences of not getting vaccinated has also played a crucial role, as people don’t want to get extremely sick or die.
We have come far as a community in how we view vaccines. I, personally, have been all for the vaccine from the beginning. But it is very nice to see other people in the community do their part in trying to get back to normal. Being one of the lowest vaccinated groups while having a lot of pre-existing conditions is not a good mix.
I think the increasing levels of vaccinations in our communities signals a shift in how we view them. It feels like we have an increased level of trust in the vaccine after seeing how bad the negative effects can be. No one wants to end up dead because they didn’t get a shot, so a lot of people are starting to get vaccinated.