93% of Black residents in LA County don't intend to take COVID vaccine when available, poll shows

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A majority of Black residents in Los Angeles County don't intend to take a COVID-19 vaccine if it were to become available this year, according to a new social media poll.

The new poll, conducted by Black Women Rally for Action, garnered a total of 335 responses and found that 93% of Black residents would not opt to receive the vaccine.

A number of those surveyed said "they do not trust the vaccine approval process" and referred to the Tuskegee study back in the 1930s in which Black patients were unaware they were part of a syphilis experiment.

"The level of mistrust ... so what we found during this poll was that folks don't seem to trust some of those agencies that are responsible for the approval. They feel that there's some political enforcement going on there and interference with the process," said community activist Mike Browning.

Additionally, only 2% of those surveyed said they do plan to take the vaccine.

Leaders with Black Women Rally for Action say they have made information regarding COVID-19 prevention and control a priority among the Black community across the county.

"Government trust must be rebuilt in order to successfully encourage Blacks to take the vaccine," said Black Women Rally for Action co-chair Brenda Watson in a Facebook post with the poll results. "We are planning a comprehensive community and media outreach effort to help Blacks understand more about the various vaccines."

Since the onset of the pandemic, 93% of those who have died from COVID-19 in L.A. County had underlying health conditions, according to the county's Department of Public Health.

Out of those who passed away, information about race and ethnicity is available for nearly 7,000 people. Ten percent of deaths were among the county's Black residents.
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