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Vaccine Equity Initiative

March 11, 2021
In 1932, the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” also known as the “Tuskegee Experiment” began. Forty years later, a panel found that the men recruited for the study had been misled. They were not been given all the facts required for informed consent. Almost 90 years later, a lingering mistrust of the medical system makes some Black Americans more hesitant to sign up for COVID-19 vaccines. This mistrust is reflected in early data that show a stark disparity in who is getting shots in America. More than 60% of the vaccines are going to White people and less than 6% to African Americans.

Vaccine Equity for the Black and Brown Community

As the COVID-19 vaccines begin reaching the broader population, the Y is working to help ensure that everyone has equitable access to accurate information.

It is especially important to be intentional about bringing accurate and timely information to the Black and Brown communities. These communities have been disproportionately affected by the health and economic impacts of the virus.

YMCA's Vaccine Equity Initiative

The YMCA of the USA has joined five of the nation’s largest non-governmental, non-profit membership organizations today to announce the launch of a vaccine equity and education effort. The work aims to help Black and Brown Americans make informed decisions about vaccination.  The goal is to provide them with accurate information from medical professionals and to combat misinformation about vaccines.

What you need to know

AARP, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Psychological Association (APA), the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the National League of Cities (NLC), and YMCA of the USA are joining forces to raise awareness concerning vaccine equity for Black and Brown communities. Together, these six organizations have a combined reach of more than 60 million Americans. This effort will:
  • Marshal the resources of all participating organizations to equip Black and Brown Americans with accurate information from medical professionals;
  • Engage community leaders of all backgrounds to amplify the importance of reaching Black and Brown Americans about COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • Provide resources to reach and engage the Black and Brown community about the COVID-19 vaccine more effectively.

Additional information and resources

Below are links to expert, science-backed information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. We encourage you to direct your family, friends and neighbors to these information sources.

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