Tuskegee experiment history leads to coronavirus mistrust

Some African Americans say they are against the coronavirus vaccine
Updated: Dec. 10, 2020 at 10:45 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Governor John Bel Edwards and some Louisiana hospitals have announced the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine.

During the governor’s press conference, he said 135,000 Phizer vaccines will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers and those who are directly exposed to COVID-19.

Edwards also mentioned that 40,000 more vaccines will be given to those with compromised immune systems and nursing home residents.

Due to the development of the vaccine, several people are fearful that it may cause harmful longterm effects to the body.

“They don’t know what is going on and I don’t do well with experiments,” Molly Hill says. “I do not want to be an experiment.”

There is a big fear in the African-American community on vaccines. One reason why, is because of the Tuskegee experiment.

According to Tuskegee University, 600 Black men were studied on the effect of untreated Syphilis. They were divided into two groups of 399 without the disease and 201 with the disease.

During this time, they were promised medical care and other incentives to participate in the study. They were never told that they would not be treated for the disease.

In a 40 year period, dozens of men died and their wives, children and countless others were infected.

This left a devastating lasting effect on African-Americans.

Another example is the story of Henrietta Lacks. She was a Black woman who died of cancer, but whose blood was used for revolutionary modern medicine.

“There’s numerous examples of how Black people have been used for research,” Marvin Wilson says. “We are nervous because of that.”

Governor John Bel Edwards is asking those against the coronavirus vaccine to reconsider. During a press conference he laid out the importance of the vaccine and how it was developed.

He says he does not want people to base their decision on conspiracy theories, and instead do their own research and make a sound decision.

The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine has some expressing their hesitance on taking it.

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