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Ineffective COVID-19 Vaccination in Afro-Americans


The U.S. government and the healthcare department need to understand African Americans’ history with the U.S. healthcare sector to ploy better intervention strategies. Many Blacks lack trust in the U.S. medical unit due to its past encounters with the race, especially during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Tuskegee study of the twentieth century is an excellent example that makes many African Americans fear U.S. medical intervention. The nineteenth century’s scientific racism experiments and publications also play a significant role in the race’s doubt towards the U.S. and its health care department. Such issues still exist based on how many Black nations and African American minorities interact with the White race and the American government. One of the most recent interactions depicting skepticism and mistrust among the Black race concerns the current avoidance of the COVID-19 vaccination. The present work shows the essence of comprehending African American subcultures and history to help raise COVID-19 vaccine awareness and acceptance. The paper uses the Tuskegee study and its impact on the African American culture to prove its argument.

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Current COVID-19 State

COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory illness responsible for the deaths of many people around the world. The condition is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, during the first half of 2019. Research and report regarding the infection further show that the condition causes rapid deterioration of human lungs and can cause instantaneous deaths if not quickly managed. Further studies on COVID-19 also show the disease to be the second-largest killer from the 1918 Influenza that wiped out about one-third of the globe’s population (Madorsky, Adebayo, Post, O’Brian, & Simon, 2021). Corona Virus is currently a worldwide disease, and intensive research by different teams of experts continues globally to avert the illness. Together with several other health organizations, the World Health Organization has well-established protocols to manage COVID-19’s spreading and infections. Washing or sanitizing hands, wearing face masks, avoiding congested places, reducing transportation to other places, and isolating self in case of unclear symptoms are examples of the outlined methods to reduce COVID-19’s prevalence globally.

Research on COVID-19 also leads to several vaccines, mainly from the U.S., Europe, and China. The jab developers then spread the vaccines to different points to combat the infection’s impact on the world. However, not all regions of the world receive vaccines positively. The African continent and many African Americans, for example, tend to shun or assume the various types of anti-COVID-19 vaccines supplied by the U.S. (Willis et al., 2021). Such doubts reduce the globe’s capacity to manage COVID-19, implying the infection’s potential to last on the continent longer than many people wish. Nevertheless, several factors concerning the current anti-COVID-19 vaccines and reports partly explain the issue among many minorities and the African continent. The point that some elite Americans lacking medical knowledge now operate as the ring leaders in proposing Corona Virus’ potential dates to end, for example, causes significant fear among many minorities (Madorsky et al., 2021). Other concerns, such as the highly debated effectiveness of the vaccines and the existence of different jobs from multiple sources, also make the situation hard to understand among minorities.

The whole issue appears like a scam or a calculated intention to hurt the ‘desperate’ minority race that has suffered more than many atrocities at the hands of the Whites. The fact that the infection came during President Trump’s era further worsens the situation (Ferdinand, 2021). The former president is famous for referring to African Americans as assholes and using policies to promote the Whites’ supremacy. Additional aspects making many African Americans fearful of the COVID-19 vaccination connote the possibility of the Whites using the jab to regulate the already growing minority race (Ferdinand, 2021). Consequently, there exists a need for the U.S. public health service to accept its past mistakes to win the trust of African Americans and other minority members regarding the anti-COVID-19 vaccine (Wernau, 2021). The failure to take such an initiative threatens to reduce the effectiveness of the current war against the pandemic, which stands to challenge the world even further.

The Tuskegee Study

The Tuskegee research refers to the forty years of human experimentation that violated the fundamental rights of African American males through mischief. The study took place in the U.S. between 1932 and 1972 and involved Black men within Macon County who suffered from syphilis (Wernau, 2021). The research was conducted by the then United States Public Health Service, which drew blood samples, taped the respondents’ spins, and performed autopsies on the males’ dead bodies via the most inhume manner possible (Wernau, 2021). The Tuskegee research aimed to investigate the natural process of untreated syphilis among the selected persons.

However, the researchers conducted their research without opening up to the subjects. The real process, thus, involved watching and handling dying Black men while ensuring they never accessed actual medication (Madorsky et al., 2021). The scientists provided false injections to the Black male subjects to make them believe they received medication, which was a lie (Madorsky et al., 2021). The Tuskegee research involved six hundred African American males, with 399 subjects suffering from syphilis, while the other population served as a control group (Madorsky et al., 2021). The selection of such a number involved a violation of basic human rights significantly as the scientists often went to children and women in case Black males were unavailable (Wernau, 2021). As such, the study caused substantial harm to the subjects, with some dying during the study due to the illness’s effects, even after Penicillin was available for curing the disease.

Looking at U.S. history is crucial to understanding the Tuskegee research. The study mainly involved African American males due to misinformed scientific racism in the nation (Ferdinand, 2021). According to the time’s science, Blacks were lesser human beings with reduced mental capacity and strong bodies that allowed them to bear hardship and work in the gardens. Better still, Ferdinand (2021) says that some studies of the scientific racism movement argued that Blacks had changed nervous systems that made it hard for them to feel pain. The arguments tried to utilize research to revive the then-abolished slave trade (Ferdinand, 2021). Too many Whites and African Americans never constituted real humans, and basing scientific studies on them amounted to staging research on nature (Ferdinand, 2021). The general feeling among many Whites of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was that Caucasians were superior to Blacks (Ferdinand, 2021). The matter then permitted the like of Tuskegee experiment to continue, where the nation’s ministry of health deliberately prevented Black men from accessing care and dying out of curable illnesses.

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Not even the passage of laws and the identification of new drugs changed the focus of the Tuskegee experiment. For example, the U.S. passed the Henderson Act in 1943, giving way to public funding for testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (Ferdinand, 2021). The Act’s passage happened while the Tuskegee study was underway but did not change the adverse course undertaken by the Whites. The identification of Penicillin in 1947 and its massive utilization to cure syphilis also did little to change the researchers’ mentalities. As such, the researchers responded to the changes by lying to the respondents that they were treating them and preventing the 399 infected Black men from receiving penicillin therapy (“The Tuskegee Timeline,” 2021). The outcome of such mischief was the suffering and deaths of the Black men in the hands of people they trusted to be helping them.

Other crucial decrees coming to effect during the experiment included the Nuremberg code and the Declaration of Helsinki by the World Health Organization (WHO). The two laws came to be in 1947 and 1964, respectively, and made using human subjects for experimentations illegal but still had no impact on the Tuskegee study (“The Tuskegee timeline,” 2021). The atrocity, therefore, continued until 1972, when a whistleblower reported the researchers to New York Times, leading to their exposure (“The Tuskegee timeline,” 2021). Only seventy-four members of the Tuskegee research population lived during the study’s termination (“The Tuskegee timeline,” 2021). About forty wives of the Black males participating in the study and twenty children also suffered from the illness during the research’s termination period (“The Tuskegee timeline,” 2021). The heinous Act was probably not the first or the last in the U.S., making many Black people fear medical processes and products coming from the same department.

Possible Solution

America still exhibits the capacity to rectify the problem with the African American community and the African continent. Accepting past mistakes and promising to implement the likes of the National Research Act indiscriminately offers significant potential to improve the situation (Strauss & Strauss, 2019). Ferdinand (2021) insists that a major problem with the twenty-first-century population is embracing neighborhood courtesy of technological ingenuity while disregarding brotherhood. Accepting and apologizing for past mistakes will allow the U.S. to win the public’s trust and encourage anti-COVID-19 vaccination among the currently adamant Black populations (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). Accepting past concerns also portrays a changing culture among the care providers in the U.S., who now view all humans as real brothers and sisters from the same species.

Providing African Americans with genuine information concerning COVID-19 and the efficacy of the developed vaccines is also crucial to winning the hesitant groups’ trust. Other vital approaches to secure trust among African Americans involve the application of similar vaccination doses across all races, including Whites (Ferdinand, 2021). Undertaking such initiatives, encouraging openness, and holding individual nurses and organizations responsible in case of suspected mischief, also promises to work well. COVID-19 is a deadly disease, and America will never be safe when other countries or races are insecure or infected. The situation thus requires the U.S. to utilize all possible tactics to ensure that all people in the state and around the world acquire immunity for true protection and healing.


In conclusion, the U.S. government plays a major role in promoting the nation’s and the globe’s safety against infectious diseases. Organizations like USAID play a major role in expanding America’s philanthropic effect on the world. However, the nation’s ability to influence the war against COVID-19 seems limited by the past hurting events. The Tuskegee experiment, particularly, exhibits a substantial impact on the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine by Blacks, both in the U.S. and globally. The general feeling is that the jabs meant for the Blacks are not genuine and may have other calculated intentions. That is why the U.S. needs to accept the past mistake and communicate the existing strategies to avoid the same to promote the vaccination’s uptake by the formerly hurt African Americans and Blacks worldwide.


Ferdinand, K. C. (2021). Overcoming barriers to covid-19 vaccination in African Americans: The need for cultural humility. American Journal of Public Health, 111(4), 586–588. Web.

Madorsky, T. Z., Adebayo, N. A., Post, S. L., O’Brian, C. A., & Simon, M. A. (2021). Vaccine distrust: A predictable response to structural racism and an inadequate public health infrastructure. American Journal of Public Health, 111(S3), S185–S188. Web.

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Purnell, L. D., & Fenkl, E. A. (2019). Handbook for culturally competent care. Springer. Web.

Strauss, R., & Strauss, C. (2019). Four overarching patterns of culture: A look at common behavior. Wipf & Stock.

The Tuskegee timeline. (2021). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

Wernau, J. (2021). History drives distrust in COVID-19 vaccines for black Americans in Tuskegee. The Wall Street Journal. Web.

Willis, D. E., Andersen, J. A., Bryant-Moore, K., Selig, J. P., Long, C. R., Felix, H. C., Curran, G. M., & McElfish, P. A. (2021). COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: Race/ethnicity, trust, and fear. Clinical and Translational Science, 14(6), 2200–2207. Web.

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