Faith leaders want minorities to be informed on vaccine trials

Posted at 5:47 AM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 13:15:15-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Minority communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and now a Nashville reverend is behind a nationwide initiative to make sure minority communities are informed about the virus and clinical trials of the vaccine.

The Faith Initiative is connected with the COVID-19 Prevention Network, which is doing vaccine trials.

Rev. Edwin C. Sanders II of the Metropolitan International Church in Nashville is working with faith leaders from around the country on this effort "to disseminate information that translates what can be in many instances the complexities of this virus in a way that allows it to be understood throughout the community irrespective of levels of education," he said.

Black adults have historically had distrust in the health care system, stemming from unethical research practices of the past.

A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found Black Americans are much less likely to say they have confidence in scientists to act in the public interest. Fifty-four percent of Black adults said they would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Hispanic and white adults were far more likely to say they would.

There is varying interest and trust among minorities right now when it comes to clinical trials, so faith leaders say they want to do their part.

"We are not here to recruit. We are here to educate. To ensure that whatever decision whether leaders make, their parishioners make and parishioners have their own networks. So we are really looking at this each one teach, one model," said Dr. Bambi Gaddist, the Executive Director of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council.

The group said each faith leader will use their own network to get the message out.