Panel of black doctors set up to verify FDA approval of coronavirus vaccine

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A panel of black doctors has been set up to verify the approval of coronavirus vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.The decision by the National Medical Association, the oldest group of black doctors in the United States, was sparked by fears that decisions would be based on political expediency rather than science.

Similar concerns were expressed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said the state would independently monitor federally approved vaccines.

An Axios-Ipsos poll last month showed that only 28% of black Americans would be ready to take a first-generation Covid-19 vaccine, compared to 51% of whites and 56% of Hispanics.

African Americans are reluctant to be the first to adopt the vaccine even though the latest figures, released by the Centers for Disease Control last month, showed they were more than twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as whites.

“Within the African-American community, there is a mistrust that dates back to Tuskegee’s study of syphilis,” a spokesperson for the Association told The Telegraph.

In this study, which ran from 1932 to 1972, hundreds of black men, mostly poor sharecroppers, were not treated for syphilis in order to allow scientists to assess the effectiveness of penicillin.

Leon McDougle, president of the Association, said there were serious questions about whether FDA decisions on vaccine approval were dictated by policy.

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