HOW AFRICAN-AMERICAN PASTORS HELPED COVID VACCINATION

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COVID-19 has dealt most harshly with the African American community in America yet the percentage of those in the community that have been vaccinated is still low.

A recent study done showed that faith healers in these communities who worked with the public health workers, and African-American health care professionals were able to increase the vaccination coverage.

In Southern California, a model of this was tested and showed measurable increase and reproducibility.

More vaccines are available around the world and also in America, so there is the issue of having everyone vaccinated.
According to The Lancet Global Health increasing vaccine rates in black communities may be significantly challenging.

In the paper, a three-tiered model was proposed for improving vaccination rates in African-American communities. This idea is what was used in the test carried out in southern California, San Bernardino.

This campaign brought about the setting up of a mobile clinic at a church in San Bernardino. The first day of the event had 417 people vaccinated and 84% were black.
In the paper, health education played a major role in addition to health promotion to increasing the percentage of African-Americans that ended up taking the vaccine. Their participation increased also, from 3% to 3.6% in the weeks that followed the events at the mobile clinic.

Inequality as a Precipitating factor

COVID-19 caused more deaths to the African-Americans doubling the value found among non-Hispanic whites as noted by the CDC

The CDC's records still show that the vaccine coverage among the African American community remains low when compared to non-Hispanic whites.

The paper notes that the medical community in the U.S has for long in history been discriminatory and exploitative to the black community. This is what creates the disproportionate distribution among communities in America when compared to the African-American community.

This discrimination has resulted in lasting negative effects, such as healthcare hesitancy and distrust, which are deeply engrained in the consciousness of the community.

Dr. Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, et al.

Vaccinations in Southern California, San Bernardino
Two mass vaccination clinics are operated by Loma Linda University (LLU) Health in San Bernardo County. The operations are the largest in the county and it inoculates 2,000 people every day for free.

Health workers have been concerned about the fact that few African-Americans take advantage of the available opportunity.
Before the test program started only 3% of the 23,170 individuals who received vaccines were black in the county where 7.8% were known to be black.

Registration for vaccination appointments and access to medical care information is also an issue for people because of poor internet and access to computers in addition.
As Dr. Abdul-Mutakabbir says, “A more proactive approach was clearly required.”

THE STRUCTURED PROGRAMED

In the paper, it was suggested that African-American faith leaders, health workers, and medical professionals in these communities can make the vaccination rates increase.

In San Bernardino, the test program that was particularly important according to Dr. Abdul-Mutakabbir were the Black faith leaders.

Dr. Abdul-Mutakabbir explained that the nation is a religious one and religious activities and the promotion of health among religious leaders has been essential in gaining the trust of the African-American community historically. Pastors were a very important part of the success of the initiative, they were acquainted and they helped to communicate with individuals directly in the community.

The program had two religious organizations working with the researchers and organized COVID-19 related gatherings. The Inland Empire Concerned African-American Churches and Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement were the two organizations.

Comprehensive COVID-19 information was presented to the pastors at the event by the researchers and the information about the vaccines available so they would support the movement and be involved.
After the event, local pastors put together webinars to discuss the COVID-19 vaccination to their members.
The pastors also provided registration paperwork, to ensure that internet access was not a barrier, and managed vaccination appointment lists.

Dr. Abdul-Mutakabbir, a black pharmacist who has specialized training in the field of infectious disease, ensured that things went smoothly facilitating the transport of vaccine supplies to the clinics.

She arranged for vaccines to be taken from vials before people arrived so doses would be ready in waiting for the people who were to get them. She helped to ease concerns about being vaccinated and foster trust.

RELIGION AND SCIENCE

In Anticipation of the reproducibility of the test done in San Bernardino in other communities, Dr. Abdul-Mutakabbir explained that the racial disparity that was made clear by the pandemic can be tackled by making vaccination available by allocation. She explained that faith and science had a role to play in making the subsequent programs a success.

REFERENCES

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It is good to know that religious personalities encourages the people to vaccinate. !discovery 15

It's really nice to know... Health education remains key in improving health status of the community

Thank you for the mention. It is a really great work you have here.

Thank you for the mention. It is a really great work you have here.


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It is nice to note that spiritual leaders are rising up to the responsibility of the health of their environment. i only hope that same approach may be emulated by other spiritual heads round the world because we all have a role to play against the pandemic. thanks for sharing

Religion and science can work synergistically for the sake of humanity but all form of unhealthy dogmatism and extremism has to be removed from the former.

I totally agree. I only wish the religious leaders in my country can help with awareness as this will go a long way in making things better.

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