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Obama says he may take coronavirus vaccine on TV to build trust in it

Obama says he may take coronavirus vaccine on TV to build trust in it
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Former President Obama says in a new interview that he may take the future coronavirus vaccine on TV to build trust among Americans in the inoculation, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

“I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it. I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science,” Obama said on SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” in an interview set to be released in full on Thursday. “What I don’t trust is getting COVID.”

According to a Gallup poll released last month, 42 percent of Americans said they would not take a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if it was immediately available at no cost. Only 48 percent of non-white adults said they would take the vaccine. 

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Obama called on Americans of color, specifically Black Americans, to take the vaccine if it is approved by top health officials, Politico reported. He noted distrust in the government over incidents such as the Tuskegee experiment, in which a group of Black men with syphilis were not told their diagnosis for decades and denied treatment. 

“I understand, historically, everything dating back all the way to the Tuskegee experiments and so forth, why the African-American community would have some skepticism,” Obama said in the interview, CNBC reported. “But the fact of the matter is, is that vaccines are why we don’t have polio anymore. And they’re the reason why we don’t have a whole bunch of kids dying from measles, and smallpox and diseases that used to decimate entire populations and communities.”

“People like Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCDC director: Vaccinated adolescents can remove masks outdoors at summer camps The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Overnight Health Care: Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers | Moderna reports positive early results for booster shots against COVID-19 variants | Federal judge vacates CDC's eviction moratorium MORE, who I know, and I’ve worked with, I trust completely,” the former president said. “So if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting COVID, absolutely I’m going to take it.”

The first coronavirus vaccines could be distributed in the U.S. in a matter of weeks. Moderna and Pfizer late last month requested emergency clearances from the FDA for their vaccines.  

Fauci has said that at-risk populations, such as individuals in nursing homes, as well as health care providers, could get the vaccine this month and into the first quarter of 2021. 

British officials on Wednesday approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, making the United Kingdom the first country to make the move.