When Meharry Medical College begins conducting COVID-19 vaccine trials in a few months, it will face a big challenge: how to inspire trust in the Black community that has reason to mistrust such interventions but stands to benefit the most.
It is a big “ask,” acknowledges Dr. James E. K. Hildreth, the president and CEO of the historically Black college in Nashville, Tennessee. Yet, he said a successful vaccine is the best hope for African Americans and other people of color who remain the hardest hit by COVID-19. Now that Meharry is a part of the COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Network, getting them enrolled is a critical first step. And looking ahead to when a vaccine has been approved for widespread use, Hildreth said those most vulnerable for contracting the disease need to be ahead in line.