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COVID-19 vaccine forum aims to build trust among Tampa Bay’s minority communities

Sunday's event addressed the state of COVID-19 in the local Black and Hispanic/Latino communities and address myths and answer questions about the vaccine.

TAMPA, Fla. — A forum on Sunday brought together doctors and officials from the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County to address the state of COVID-19 in the local Black and Hispanic/Latino community, as well as address myths and answer questions in an effort to build trust in populations where it has been broken.

RELATED: Doctors aim to increase vaccination rates in local African American community

Although the African American community is disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, a new survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases shows just 49 percent of Black adults plan to get the vaccine.

Doctors say mistrust in the medical system due to years of mistreatment is a huge cause, as well as a lack of understanding about how the vaccines work.

Roots of mistrust in the African American community stem back to the Tuskegee experiment between 1932 and 1972 in which the U.S. Public Health Service enrolled 600 African American men in Alabama in a study to understand the impacts of syphilis. The men were promised free medical care as researchers studied the disease without giving them adequate treatment even as it became available.

Sunday’s forum took place online via Zoom and streamed live on 10 Tampa Bay's Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. 

To watch the full forum, click here



The event was put on by ProjectLINK and moderated by 10 Tampa Bay's Emerald Morrow. 

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