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Into the Black Doctors Vetting the Vaccine

The rush for a vaccine has led some Black Americans to question its safety and efficacy. Meet the doctor trying to change that.

About this episode:

For six months, people across the country have been waiting for the same lifeline: a vaccine for the coronavirus. The U.S. government has pledged $10 billion to help drug makers develop and distribute a vaccine in record time through “Operation Warp Speed.”

But the emphasis on swiftness has left some people worried about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. California and New York have said they will assemble their own independent task forces to vet the vaccine, and recently, the National Medical Association, the oldest and largest organization for Black physicians, has said they will do the same.

The NMA’s longstanding role as trusted messengers in the Black community could prove crucial, because polling shows Black Americans are less likely than other groups to say they will get a coronavirus vaccine.

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Dr. Rodney Hood, an internal medicine physician and health equity advocate in San Diego who came up with the idea for the NMA’s task force. Dr. Hood describes why the task force is necessary, and how centuries of structural racism in medicine has led to generational health issues and heightened mistrust.

Find the transcript here.

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