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Racism in health care increases vaccine hesitancy in minority groups

Article

Study shows that 10% of minorities refused COVID vaccines because of past racial discrimination experiences

One in ten people from ethnic minority groups who refused a vaccine experienced racial discrimination in a medical setting since the start of the pandemic. They also experienced twice as many incidents of racial discrimination compared to those who were vaccinated, according to a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

The study authors said that this illustrates how the effects of racial discrimination creates low confidence in the health system to handle the pandemic, which led to vaccine refusal.

The study participants included 633 adults belonging to ethnic minority groups who were offered a COVID-19 vaccine between December 2020 and June 2021. 6.69% of participants who had refused the vaccine reported they had experienced poorer service or treatment than other people in a medical setting because of their race or ethnicity.

The researchers said that the findings underscore how government agencies must work to regain trust from ethnic minority groups to increase vaccination rates among these diverse groups. Public health campaigns to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates should not only focus on building trust in the vaccines, but also to prevent racial and ethnic discrimination and support people who have experienced it.

They also pointed out that failure to tackle racial discrimination would lead to a widening of systemic inequalities putting more ethnic minority lives at risk.

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