To be one of the first 100, or to be one of the first 100,000 when it comes to being vaccinated for COVID-19 has been weighing heavily on the minds of Americans.
The Black community has expressed serious caution when it comes to the vaccine as the healthcare system has fallen short when it comes to valuing the lives of Black Americans when it comes to testing.
The infamous Tuskegee experiment took place in 1932 to study syphilis in accordance with treating a specific demographic, African American males.
At the beginning of the trials, the ethics behind it wasn’t questioned until the Associated Press broke the news of the results.
According to the CDC, “There was no evidence that researchers had informed [the men] of the study, or its real purpose. In fact, the men had been misled and had not been given all the facts required to provide informed consent. The men were never given adequate treatment for their disease.”
For the next several years the test subjects, wives and widows would be in and out of court for compensation for the trial. Ultimately, they were given lifetime medical benefits for the sacrifice they weren’t even aware they were enduring. As well as getting a personal apology from President Bill Clinton in 1997 expressing that “The United States government did something that was wrong, deeply, profoundly, morally wrong.”
During the pandemic, in some cases such as Florida, legislation has been very lenient on the guidelines that surround how to handle the pandemic.
In September, Governor DeSantis petitioned for a bill to be created that would protect college students from facing possible expulsion from their schools for partying.
“I personally think it’s incredibly draconian that a student would get potentially expelled for going to a party,” DeSantis said in an interview. “That’s what college kids do.”
With such blatant freedom given to college students, it is easy to see why testing would be considered as to why the bare minimum precautions are recommended, but not enforced.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Florida State University and Florida A&M University this week reported a total of 87 new cases in which students tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Although there is still fear being attributed to the vaccine, students are doing their due diligence in going to get tested.
As the vaccine is still not universally available to all and is being given as priority, many still are able to decide where they stand with it, but as time moves on there will come a point where the vaccination will be the only way to eradicate the virus and resume a normal life.