Across the country, Black and Hispanic physicians like Dr. Wiley are reaching out to Americans in minority communities who are suspicious of Covid-19 vaccines and often mistrustful of the officials they see on television telling them to get vaccinated. Many are dismissive of public service announcements, the doctors say, and of the federal government.
Although acceptance of the vaccine is notching up, Black and Hispanic Americans — among the groups hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic — remain among the most reluctant to roll up their sleeves. Even health care workers in some hospitals have declined the shots.
But the assurances of Black and Hispanic doctors can make an enormous difference, experts say. “I don’t want us to benefit the least,” Dr. Wiley said. “We should be first in line to get it.”
Many physicians like her now find themselves not just urging friends and relatives to get the vaccine, but also posting messages on social media and conducting group video calls, asking people to share their concerns and offering reliable information.