As COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts continue, a new RAND survey reveals a high level of vaccine hesitancy and mistrust of COVID-19 vaccines among Black Americans, including among Black health care workers.
The nationally representative survey conducted in November and December 2020 found that 35 percent of the respondents said they would not get vaccinated, 40 percent said they would get vaccinated, and 25 percent said they did not know if they would get vaccinated.
Those who expressed vaccine hesitancy also showed high levels of overall mistrust in the vaccine, concerns about potential harm and side effects, and lack of confidence in vaccine effectiveness and safety.
Black Americans attribute their medical mistrust, in general and specific to COVID-19 vaccines, to systemic racism, including discrimination and mistreatment in health care, as well as by the government.
Those surveyed reported higher trust in COVID-19 information that comes from health care providers and public health officials than from information provided by elected local and federal officials. Sixty-five percent of all respondents said that they trusted health care professionals for information about COVID-19, and 59 percent of all of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the government cannot be trusted to tell the truth about COVID-19.
In order to increase COVID-19 vaccination in Black communities, researchers recommend: