MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — More Black Americans say they are open to taking the coronavirus vaccine.
A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in late March found about 24% of Black American adults say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated. That’s down from 41% in January.
The executive director of the American Public Health Association,Dr. Georges Benjamin, says attitudes toward the vaccine among Black Americans have taken “almost a 180-degree turnaround” as outreach campaigns have sought to combat misinformation.
Mattie Pringle had doubts about taking the coronavirus vaccine. The 57-year-old from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, feared her underlying health conditions might heighten her chances of a severe reaction to the shot. The speedy development and approval of the vaccines also fed her skepticism.
She made an appointment to get a vaccine after a member of her church, who is a local NAACP leader, shared a news story about Kizzmekia Corbett, a Black government scientist who played a key role in developing the Moderna vaccine.
The latest number shows Black Americans leaning against getting shots is now nearly the same as white Americans at 26% and Hispanic Americans at 22%.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.