While Black and Latinx Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, both groups have low confidence in the safety and effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine, a report from the COVID Collaborative, NAACP, and UnidosUS finds. Based on a survey conducted in September 2020 of more than a thousand African Americans and more than two hundred and fifty Latinx Americans, the report, Coronavirus Vaccine Hesitancy in Black and Latinx Communities(13 pages, PDF), found that only a minority of people in each group believed that a vaccine would be effective (18 percent of Black respondents and 40 percent of Latinx respondents), that it would be safe (14 percent and 34 percent), and that it would be tested for safety in their racial/ethnic group (28 percent and 47 percent). About three-quarters of both Black and Latinx respondents said that confidence in a vaccine's safety (78 percent and 76 percent) and effectiveness (75 percent and 72 percent) would be important factors in their decision to get vaccinated. Among African Americans, 78 percent of those who believed they had a social responsibility to be vaccinated and nine in ten of those who believed that all or most of the people around them would want them to be vaccinated said they likely would do so, but only four in ten of the two-thirds of Black respondents who believed that government could never or rarely be trusted to look after their interests would get the vaccine, compared with 63 percent of those with some trust in government. Intended vaccine uptake was lowest among African Americans who placed a high importance on being Black or felt a strong sense of belonging to the Black community, and highest among Latinx respondents who placed a high importance on being Latinx or felt a strong sense of belonging to the Latinx community. Efforts to promote vaccine uptake in the Black community, the report notes, must directly confront and address the deep historical traumas that have created high levels of distrust in government and the overall healthcare system.
(Photo credit: GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance)