Vaccine skepticism lurks in town famous for syphilis study

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — The coronavirus immunization campaign is off to a shaky start in Tuskegee, Alabama. Area leaders point to a lingering distrust of medicine that is linked to a 40-year government study here that used unknowing Black men as guinea pigs to study syphilis.

Several people in the mostly Black city are trying to set an example by getting vaccinated. One of those is Black Tuskegee attorney Fred Gray.

Gray is the one who filed a lawsuit on behalf of the men affected by the syphilis study that resulted in a $9 million settlement. The now-90-year-old Gray stresses that the syphilis study and the COVID-19 vaccine are completely different.