LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than 200,000 vaccines have been distributed in Kentucky so far. But even as the vaccine becomes easier to get, some people are still hesitant about getting it, especially African Americans and other minorities.
Community activist as well as an active member of the African American community in Lexington, Devine Carama, decided to get the vaccine on Wednesday despite having some reservations.
"We weren't born with that distrust, it was things that were done to us that led to that," says Carama.
Carama says that mistrust happened from things that were done to the Black community like the Tuskegee Syphilis Study that started in the 1930s. In this study, 600 men were treated for Syphilis, but even when Penicillin became the drug of choice to treat Syphilis, the subjects were never offered it or given the choice to quit the study.
So Carama believes we should reevaluate our priorities, and perhaps it's just as important to increase minorities' trust in the research that went into making these vaccines as it is distributing them.
"This is decades, centuries of distrust that has been sold. So, it's a healing process and we must be intentional about helping people heal instead of just forcing them to get over it and telling them it's something they must do. No, let's have a conversation. Lets allow people to heal. Give them an opportunity to heal and I think that's what's really important, and I think if we do that, we will have more people get vaccinated and buy into the process."
Even still Carama encourages everyone to do their own research. He says he will never tell people what to do with their body, but believes this is the next step in returning life back to normal.