Atrium Health tries to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in minority communities

Updated: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:54 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As frontline and essential workers get their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, many people are hesitant to receive the vaccine once it’s their turn.

Atrium Health says vaccine hesitancy is especially common among minority communities.

Doctor Chris Branner with Atrium health says it’s especially important for people in minority community to get the vaccine once they can.

Atrium health says something they’ve seen minority communities throughout the pandemic having a higher risk of getting COVID-19.

And it’s important for those higher risk communities to be open to getting the vaccine once they can.

Branner, Atrium’s specialty medical director of Urgent Care Services, says as a black man, he knows there is hesitation in the African-American community.

It’s one of the reason he wanted to get the vaccine himself; to show others the vaccine is safe.

He says vaccine hesitation dates back to the Tuskegee Syphillis study.

Branner says that’s where black men were enrolled in a study believing they were getting treatment for this disease, but we’rent actually getting any treatment.

Branner says people in minority community fear that history will repeat itself when getting any vaccine.

“One misconception folks will have is that the vaccine can give you the diseas,” says Branner. “So with the flu vaccine, which is a vaccine that is made from particles of the flu virus, it’s impossible to get the flu from a piece of the flu. But people will get that false narrative in their mind.

But Branner says human rights changes and conditions that were set up in this country, will prevent situations like Tuskegee from happening again.

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