Lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus are lending a hand in vaccine outreach to communities who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The group’s “Get Out the Vaccine” initiative is looking to ease vaccine hesitancy as the US races to get as many Americans vaccinated as possible.
“In the Black community only 30 percent of the vaccines have been given out for the Black community, where we disproportionately died and were hospitalized,” Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan told FOX 2 News. Lawrence is helping out vaccination efforts in Detroit through the Get Out the Vaccine program in a week-long event that is reducing the barriers to getting a dose of the vaccine.
From walk-in vaccine appointments, to having community landmarks, including churches and recreational centers, serving as mass vaccination sites, the initiative is working to address the roots of vaccine hesitancy.
“It’s based on three things, misinformation, education, and accessibility,” Lawrence said. “We will remove all the barriers.”
Michigan, which experienced a surge in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, is among the lowest in vaccination rates, Rep. Lawrence said, and that among Black Michigan residents, the numbers are even lower.
“We’re falling behind in vaccines, one of the lowest groups in Michigan,” Lawrence said. “We have to get those numbers up.”
Though vaccine hesitancy among Black Americans has decreased since last December, lawmakers at the state and federal level have implemented programs like Get Out the Vaccine to increase access to doses, and quell misinformation that has largely targeted Black communities.
Churches across the country are serving as vaccination sites, and community leaders are getting educated in vaccines to help encourage everyone who is eligible to get their dose.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, check out covidvaccinefacts.org.
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