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Partnering a pharmacy with a black church will improve COVID vaccination rates for African Americans

A new study suggests that partnering with a black church and medical professionals can increase the intake of coronavirus vaccine in the African-American community.

Researchers examined immunization rates in San Bernardino County and found that only 3.2% of people immunized at the mass vaccination site were black.

However, the percentage increased to 4.3% after the black church and black pharmacists provided parish residents with a briefing session on COVID-19. This is a 34% surge.

In addition, when the church acted as a place for vaccination, more than three-quarters of all vaccinated people were black.

A team of Loma Linda University (LLU) pharmacies in California hopes that other local leaders can use such a community-based approach to help immunize vulnerable pockets in the United States. Say there is

To increase vaccination rates for African Americans, the Black Church provided COVID-19 vaccine information to congregations and pastors coordinated with black pharmacists to host the COVID-19 Educational Webiner. Photo: Melanie Page received her first COVID-19 vaccination in May 2021 at her church, St. Matthew Christian Methodist Episcopal, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“The black church has long been more than a place of worship for their community,” said Dr. Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, an assistant professor at LLU Pharmacy, the lead author.

“These serve as a hub for the dissemination of credible information and are essential to our initiative to achieve racial equality in the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

African Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 since the early days of the pandemic.

They are up to three times more likely to get sick and die than white Americans because they are infected with the virus.

Health experts hoped that the national deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine would help narrow the gap between African Americans and whites.

However, black Americans get shots of the coronavirus, including less access to computers to schedule bookings, limited public transport, and more likely to live in the desert of pharmacies. There are some barriers to doing.

After the approach, San Bernardino County mass vaccination clinics increased 34%, from 3.2% to 4.3% of doses to black residents. Photo: Terrell Carter recommends neighbors to be vaccinated at the Friendship Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee in April 2021.

After the approach, San Bernardino County mass vaccination clinics increased 34%, from 3.2% to 4.3% of doses to black residents. Photo: Terrell Carter recommends neighbors to be vaccinated at the Friendship Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee in April 2021.

As a result, according to CDC data, only about 10 percent of African Americans receive at least one dose.

For this study, the LLU team worked with black churches and pharmacists to devise a program in San Bernardino County, California.

About 20 black churches provided information on the COVID-19 vaccine to the congregation, and black religious leaders showed their support for the vaccine.

The minister then coordinated with a black pharmacist to host a COVID-19 educational webinar with a vaccine registration sheet.

Finally, the place of worship was used as a place of vaccination so that people could be immunized in the church.

Prior to the community-based approach, from January 5th to February 5th this year, only 3.2% of the more than 14,000 people vaccinated at the LLU Clinic were black.

This is despite the fact that African-American residents make up almost eight percent of San Bernardino County’s population.

By the way, at the mobile vaccination clinic held at the church On February 6, 2021, 84% of those vaccinated were black.

This approach also helped increase the proportion of blacks vaccinated at the LLU mass vaccination site from 3.2% to 4.3%.

“In a religious community of colors where access to vaccination centers is restricted and vaccine hesitation is often rooted in distrust of the healthcare system, we can see religious leaders rely on the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s an important motivation for them to do the same, “said Abdul Mutakabir.

“We have vaccinated 1,542 blacks in San Bernardino County to date and expanded our efforts to provide comprehensive information to the Latino / LatinX community, which has been underestimated by traditional vaccination efforts. We hope that the results will be available within a few months. “

The study was effectively presented this week at the European Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Partnering a pharmacy with a black church will improve COVID vaccination rates for African Americans

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