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Doctor works to combat COVID-19 vaccine skepticism within Black community: ‘You’re not a guinea pig’

There has been skepticism among some Black Americans when it comes to the health care system and getting the COVID-19 vaccine. U.C. Davis Health's Dr. David Tom Cooke says that distrust is warranted but is working to show the vaccine is safe.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the Black community hard. But there has been skepticism among some Black Americans when it comes to the health care system and getting the vaccine.

Employees at a Black-owned-and-operated barbershop express their concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as their reluctance to get it.

Black health care workers who are also prominent members of the community offer advice and insight into the vaccines, hoping to ease their fears.

U.C. Davis Health's Dr. David Tom Cooke said that distrust is warranted but is working to show the vaccine is safe.

"The onus is not on the communities to trust us, us being health care. The onus is on health care to learn from our communities and speak in a language that they can understand," he explained. "We need to understand what outcomes are important to our patients and our community members.

As Dr. Cooke told KCRA's Brittany Johnson, he participated in the Pfizer trial to be a leader in the community and to tell people, "You’re not a guinea pig. Individuals like us who participated in the trial were the guinea pigs, and now we have a defined product that you can benefit from."



We are living in unprecedented times with COVID-19 spreading across the nation and world, and the stories about how people are coping, battling, and persevering through the pandemic have become more important than ever.

In each episode, “Field Notes” brings you a handful of stories about how coronavirus has impacted real people across the United States, and you can hear more about what it’s like to cover the pandemic from the local news teams that are committed to keeping you informed, no matter what.