COVID Vaccine Barriers Impacting Black Americans

COVID vaccine hesitancy drops among Black Americans, but distance to health care facilities, drug stores still a problem.

Video Transcript

- For the past year, Dr. Rita McGuire working inside and out of Roseland Communith Hospital, volunteering and teaching predominantly black communities in Chicago about COVID-19 and the vaccines.

DR. RITA MCGUIRE: It protects you from dying from COVID.

- Last spring in Chicago, Black people made up 70% of COVID-19 deaths but only 30% of the population.

DR. RITA MCGUIRE: That was really hard, being in the front lines and being there, seeing patients that came in too late.

- A disproportionate number of minorities dying from COVID-19 in other cities too like Atlanta but a history of racism in medical research has led to distrust of the vaccine among many in the Black community.

YANOUS WILLIS: I really don't trust it because it actually came kind of fast.

- To combat that, groups continue rolling out ad campaigns.

- I'm getting a vaccine to protect my family.

- Like this one in New Orleans. Recent stats prove more Black Americans are getting vaccinated.

- You're just going to feel a little poke here.

- But studies show many have to travel farther than white Americans to get the shot. President Joe Biden pledging to fix the racial disparity in access to vaccines.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: We're investing nearly $10 billion to expand testing, treatment, and vaccinations for the hardest hit yet most underserved communities.

- Dr. McGuire and others at Chicago's Roseland Community Hospital travel to patient and mobile vaccination units, working to eliminate yet another barrier. And when it happens.

DR. RITA MCGUIRE: So the conversation is one of joy, of hope, of happiness. A lot of patients crying and I'm crying with them, because I'm so excited for them as well.