Should Americans be skeptical of taking the COVID-19 vaccine?

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Some Americans are leaning on the fence as to whether they should opt-in to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and it is an understandable suspicion. The United States has had a disturbing past of conducting unethical experiments and passing it off as scientific exploration. One does not have to be a conspiracy theorist to be skeptical of the US’s handling of medicine to the masses. Dating back to the 1930s, America conducted the infamous Tuskegee Experiment which was a Syphilis study that lasted 40 years which is arguably this country’s most harmful and unethical decision.

The unethical methods of the Tuskegee Experiment caused a change in the future of healthcare that led to the U.S. Congress passing the National Research Act, requiring institutional review boards to approve all studies involving human subjects and causing the president at the time (Bill Clinton) to issue an apology to the American public in 1997. This experiment caused a huge number of African Americans to have distrust for healthcare. According to www.daily.jstor.org, “Decades after the Tuskegee Syphilis study health statistics continue to illustrate the lack of trust black Americans have for healthcare professionals… In the 1990s a notable chunk of the African American community believed that the government created AIDS… this mistrust of the health profession has had negative impacts on black people’s health.” 

One of the positive things that came out of this diabolical experiment is that more research is now being conducted to confirm the safety and validity of current medications. Most Americans now look to the expertise of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide insight on upcoming drugs and products they should consume. Like many other administrations, the FDA also has a history of mishaps that caused them to pass several dangerous medications that should have never passed through to be given to the American public.

The FDA have made mishaps in confirmation of drugs that have caused thousands of deaths such as Quaaludes and Cylert. According to www.en.wikipedia.org, “The economist Milton Friedman has claimed that the regulatory process is inherently biased against approval of some worthy drugs, because the adverse effects of wrongfully banning a useful drug are undetectable, while the consequences of mistakenly approving a harmful drug are highly publicized and therefore the FDA will take action that will result in the least public condemnation of the FDA regardless of the health consequences.”

After highlighting some of the mishandled experimentations and passing of dangerous medications hopefully some of those pro vaccine individuals will be more understanding of why others are skeptical of opting to take the vaccine. Historically, America has not made it easy to be looked at as the most reliable or trustworthy when it comes to distributing medication to the masses causing many to be reluctant about the new vaccine that will combat the deadly coronavirus that has placed the world in a global pandemic.

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