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Study: COVID vaccine hesitancy dropping much faster among Black Americans than white Americans

Study Shows COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Dropping Faster Among Black Americans Than White Americans 02:11

NEW YORK -- While many states are dropping their mask mandates, experts say vaccines are what will truly get us out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet, many Americans remain hesitant to get the shot, especially in certain parts of the country.

As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported Wednesday, new research shows vaccine hesitancy is dropping much faster among Black Americans than white Americans.

Jennifer Saunders was skeptical at first about getting the vaccine.

"You know, as I'm sure everybody was because I really didn't have a lot of research knowledge about it," Saunders said.


So she attended some events in her community to get more information about COVID.

"It could actually be more deadly to a person with underlying conditions, especially like diabetes, because it could have affected me a totally different way if I were to get it without the vaccine," Saunders said.

Now, a new study from Ohio State University looks at COVID vaccine hesitancy among Americans. While Black Americans were initially more hesitant than white Americans to get vaccinated, hesitance has dropped faster among Black people.

"The thing we noticed is that they are more likely to come to believe over time that the vaccine is necessary to protect themselves and their community and that could be an explanation for why, overall, Black Americans are becoming more willing to use the vaccine," said Dr. Tasleem Padamsee of Ohio State's College of Public Health.


Study authors note that initial vaccine hesitance among Black Americans may have been due in part to historical mistrust of the medical community. However, since fewer Black people are vaccinated than white people, the focus now should be on access to vaccines.

"It's probably not hesitance, and that makes us have to look at the other bucket of reasons why people might not be vaccinated, those problems that have to do with the ability to get transported to a vaccine site, knowing where one is near you, being worried that you won't be able to take time off work," Padamsee said.

"Basically, the pros outweigh the cons for me at the end of the day," Saunders said.

Not only are most communities working to improve access to the vaccine, it's also a free shot. And another important motivator is that COVID has disproportionately affected Black Americans in hospitalizations and deaths.

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