More than a third of African Americans hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccine
(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 26, 2021 at 7:01 PM EST - Updated February 26 at 7:01 PM on cleveland19.com )
CLEVELAND, Ohio (Great Health Divide) - More than a third of Black Americans say they’re hesitant to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
A recent survey shows vaccine hesitancy at 35% among Black Americans.
Dr. Adam Myers with Cleveland Clinic fears that number may be even higher.
“When you have economic disparity there and blighted communities, it’s not the place where you find a predominance of health care providers,” Myers said.
Cleveland Clinic has worked with clergy in diverse communities to help build trust.
Myers said across the country, those relationships have been effective in bringing resources to communities of color.
Vaccine equity in Cuyahoga County
Here in Cuyahoga County, new research shows black adults are much less likely than white residents or people of other races to have received a vaccine, according to the Center for Community Solutions.
You can read their research here.
When it comes to the share of vaccinated adults in the county, 70 percent are white, and only 11 percent are black, even though African American adults make up 28 percent of the population.
The Center for Community Solutions reports some reasons for this include:
-Mistrust of health care systems due to historical and persistent racist practices
-Older Ohioans are vaccinated first, but due to life-expectancy disparities, black Ohioans are less likely to live past age 80
Federally qualified health centers are a key part of the state’s strategy to improve equity.
They reach vulnerable populations, including black, Latino, and immigrant communities.
Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.
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