Blacks and Latinx intensely sought information about COVID-19 and engaged in public health measures such as wearing masks and tests due to devastating experiences during the pandemic, but are still skeptical about vaccines, according to a Rutgers study.
The findings, which appear in JAMA network open, provide information on what motivates people in the Black and Latinx communities — who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic — to take COVID-19 safety precautions, but to question vaccines. Findings can also help develop appropriate public health strategies and messages.
The researchers interviewed 111 black and Latino people in low-income New Jersey counties with high rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths during the initial 2020 increase. They also interviewed health workers in these communities to understand their opinions.
“The fear, illness and loss experienced during the pandemic motivated them to seek information intensely and to take safety precautions such as wearing a mask, distancing themselves socially and washing their hands to protect themselves and loved ones. “, said co-author Manuel Jiménez, assistant professor of pediatrics, family medicine i community health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “However, participants did not trust the vaccine development process and wanted clearer information.”
The study found that:
- Latinx participants, in particular, reported difficulties in finding test sites, transportation problems, and language barriers. This was most pronounced for undocumented people who were asked to pay for evidence if they were not eligible. unemployment benefits and other assistance programs.
- Some participants did not feel safe inside or outside their home and described the uncertainty about who had the virus. Overcrowded living conditions caused contact with neighbors and housemates who had COVID-19.
- Participants questioned how a vaccine against a new virus could be developed so quickly when there have been other diseases for decades without successful vaccines. They also expressed concern about the vaccine development process, including this one clinical trials he had been “rushed” and worried about short- and long-term side effects.
- They wondered if vaccines would work against variants and wanted clear and transparent information about the effectiveness of vaccines. Many wanted to see how other people would respond to vaccination first.
- Black participants mentioned distrust of health systems and government, citing the experience of racism, discriminatory interventions, and medical experimentation.
“We need to reduce logistical barriers and improve access to evidence in underserved communities, regardless of the status of the documentation,” said lead co-researcher Shawna Hudson, a professor and head of the department’s research division. of Family Medicine and Rutgers Community Health Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “Healthcare providers should offer convenient testing options, places accessible within walking distance, translated information, and transparency about free trials to address these barriers.”
The researchers concluded that logistical barriers to testing need to be addressed and vaccine skepticism must be taken seriously.
“The remaining unknowns about new vaccines need to be recognized and described for these communities to make informed decisions,” Jiménez said. “Scientists and civil servants they need to work collaboratively with trusted community leaders and health professionals to provide transparent information, including the remaining unknowns, so that these communities can make informed decisions instead of focusing on marketing campaigns to eliminate hesitation. lation “.
JAMA network open (2021). DOI: 10.1001 / jamanetworkopen.2021.17074
Citation: Blacks, Latinos, confident in COVID-19 safety precautions, but skeptical about vaccines (2021, July 15) retrieved July 15, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07- black-latinx-people-confident-covid -.html
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