BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — While the nation continues to wait for a COVID vaccine with the hopes it will bring an end to the pandemic, a new report shows a number of people don't trust the safety or effectiveness of it.
Now local groups are working to build that trust with the communities impacted the most by the virus.
According to a study conducted by the COVID Collaborative, only 14 percent of African Americans, and only 34 percent in the Latino community trust the safety of the vaccine. A few local organizations say building that trust is something that they will be really focusing on in the upcoming months, and the best way to do that is through education.
"We have had different types of experiments put on the African American communities, those type of issues continue to stem greatly that we continue to try and fight those issues in our community," said Patrick Jackson, president of NAACP Bakersfield Chapter.
A study conducted by the COVID Collaborative, the National Chapter of the NAACP, and UnidosUS says it collected response questions from more than 1,000 African American adults and 258 Latino adults. The results show that these two groups have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic with a high number of positive cases and death throughout their communities.
Where only 18% of African Americans say they trust in the vaccine effectiveness. Jackson, says it's crucial that complete transparency is taking place with the vaccination.
"I think educating people when the information is coming out and being truthful and letting people feel more comfortable. The more information that we have the more trusted we can feel to move forward together because we know we are in this together and it's something we are going to have to fight together," said Jackson.
"I think we start with the women because they are used to having their children vaccinated in order to go to school so there is already an understanding of the importance of the vaccination, so we are prepping to do some deep organizing," said Dolores Huerta, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
Trust building is also critical, in helping minority communities build confidence in the people and institutions responsible for developing and delivering a vaccine and ensuring that communities have access to quality information that helps build their understanding of the science.
The study also says 40% of Latinos trust the vaccine and Dolores Huerta, who is a known American labor leader says that when the vaccine is released in phases more groups should be included.
"Farmer workers who are considered essential workers and of course are handling our food that's on our tables every day, so we are advocating that they should receive the vaccine right after health care workers, doctors and nurses," added Huerta.
The Public Health Department says that they are currently in the early stages of planning on vaccine education and are currently awaiting state guidance as well. But say we can expect to hear further details in the next upcoming weeks.