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COVID-19 vaccination turnout lower in minority communities

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Minority communities are seeing a significantly lower COVID-19 vaccination turnout.

Tiffany Walker Samuels is the commissioner from the governor’s African American task force for COVID-19, and she says hesitancy amongst the black community is still an obstacle. “Where we’re finding our challenge is for those 40 and below.”

Nationally, less than 10% of blacks have at least one dose of the vaccine as of last week, according to the CDC. Those numbers compared to the more than 60% of white people that have received a shot.

Samuels says the reason behind this difference comes from the distrust the community has had with healthcare throughout history and changing that may be a long shot.

She says, “it goes back as far as the Tuskegee experiment, even before that. We still have people that are affected by the Tuskegee experiment and decedents who have had poor situations with healthcare.”

That is why she says it’s important to get the message across through different tactics that will resonate better with black and other minority communities.

“We want to protect not only from the COVID we know today, but the covid that is transforming every day, mutating into variants. This whole virus has not been about protecting ourselves individually, but as a whole,” Samuels continued.

Samuels says looking at the data and visiting the communities that seem to need the one-on-one conversation about the vaccine is just another way to help get shots in arms.

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