COVID-19 vaccine raises skepticism among some members in the Black community

Historical and present medical events have created a sense of doubt

Many people, especially minorities, still hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccine

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The chair, an apron, and clippers — a typical trip to get a haircut for some. But in the Black community, it’s so much more.

“Like, honestly, where can you go to talk about any- and everything — from your culture to current events, to how your day was going, so it’s an important pillar in the community, especially the Black community,” said John Hardy, a customer who feels like he can literally let his hair down when he goes to the barbershop.

Right now, a lot of the talk centers around the COVID-19 pandemic and — a hot topic at the moment — whether to get a vaccine.

Darren Davis is the manager of CITY KUTZ barbershop in downtown Wilmington and has his own reservations about the vaccine.

“It came out entirely too fast for me because they didn’t have time to do any research on it, and I’m very particular about what I put into my body,” said Davis.

”There have been nightmarish stories — the historical nightmares that we have heard about — the Tuskegee experiments, and so many other things,” said New Hanover County’s Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Linda Thompson, who has heard the concerns before and understands the hesitancy toward the vaccine.

But Thompson wants others to look to the future and says its imperative to get vaccinated because of how hard the coronavirus has hit the Black community.

“I have had personal, close friends, to die of COVID. I have seen more of my friends and colleagues die of this disease than I have ever experienced in my life,” she said.

The hope is people will continue to talk about the issue, to trim down the fears and and have a fresh look at the vaccine. But there’s still work to do.

“Personally, I am not going to take it, as of yet. I would rather do my research and be more in-depth about it,” said Hardy.”

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