Leaders in the black community are saying it is the government's job to combat vaccine hesitancy among black Canadians. Toronto orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Ato Sekyi-Otu, leader of the health-care task force of the Black Opportunity Fund says that a new survey confirms the suspicion that black Canadians are more likely not to get vaccinated than non-black Canadians.
The online survey by the Innovative Research Group in partnership with the Black Opportunity Fund and the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council cannot provide a margin of error but says that black Canadians are far less likely to get vaccinated, as reported by CP24.
Sekyi-Oto says governments need to take drastic steps like mandatory time off and cultural sensitivity training in order to get more black Canadians vaccinated. Sekyi-Oto has also been a vocal supporter of efforts including vaccination clinics specifically for black people.
"The Black Physicians Association of Ontario has a mandate to offer a culturally appropriate vaccine experience for all Ontarians who identify as Black," said Sekyi-Otu, who is also the Peel lead for the Black Health Vaccine Initiative. "By improving access to the vaccines, educating individuals and improving the confidence and belief in the vaccines, we can reduce the high rate of vaccine hesitancy in the Black community."
"We understand many people from the Black, African and Caribbean communities are hesitant and even resistant to being vaccinated," said Angela Carter, Executive Director, Roots Community Services in regards to a vaccine clinic for black Canadians opening in Mississauga.
"Our role is to provide factual information to help community members make informed decisions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. If they choose the vaccine, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to get the shot," Carter continued.
"The clinic will provide a positive vaccination environment to those who identify as Black (e.g., Black-Canadian, African, Caribbean, Afro-Latin, Afro-Indigenous etc.) and live in Brampton and Mississauga’s Malton neighbourhood," according to insauga.com. Many of the commenters called these clinics "racist and offensive."