CNBC: Black health leaders try to build trust in the COVID-19 vaccine among African Americans

Louito Edje, MD, wants to inspire confidence in COVID-19 vaccine

African-American health professionals and community health groups across the country have already begun to do outreach in Black communities hit hard by the coronavirus.

Seven out of 10 African Americans know someone who’s been hospitalized or died from COVID-19, according to a Pew Research poll conducted last month. Yet vaccine skepticism runs high. Only 42% of Blacks surveyed say they plan to be vaccinated, compared with more than 60% for Americans overall.

Louito Edje, MD, associate dean of graduate medical education at the UC College of Medicine and UC Medical Center, enrolled in the Phase 3 clinical trial for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine after three of her relatives died from the coronavirus. UC is one of approximately 90 sites in the country to host a trial for the mRNA-1273 vaccine developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientists and collaborators at biotechnology company Moderna.

Edje holds a master's of health professions education and is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She wanted to set an example and inspire confidence in her patients to get vaccinated. Edje shared her story with CNBC as part of a segment including interviews from health professionals across the country and community groups promoting vaccination against COVID-19. “I felt that I might be able to have an impact that has some credibility, for the patients that I take care of every day who look just like me,” Edje told CNBC.

Read the CNBC article

Learn more about Dr. Edje online.  

Featured image with Louito Edje, MD, in front of the UC College of Medicine by Colleen Kelley/University of Cincinnati.

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