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As scientists race to develop COVID-19 vaccines, a new poll shows fewer than one-third of Black residents in California plan to get immunized.

Though eye-catching and troubling for health officials developing a plan for disseminating a vaccine throughout the state, the findings of the statewide survey didn’t come out of the blue.

The reluctance of Black people to get vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19, which has had a disproportionate impact on minorities, is rooted in a broader suspicion toward vaccines in general, according to some experts.

“I have no surprise because this is not just relevant in terms of COVID-19,” said Vickie Mays, a professor of health policy and management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “We’ve seen this even in terms of other types of immunizations.”

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