Multicultural News

Agencies address minorities’ hesitancy to get COVID-19 vaccine

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The first dose to the COVID-19 vaccine was distributed in Indiana three months ago.

Since then, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 107 million COVID 19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the nation. However, racial ethnic group vaccinations rates continue to lag.

From the White House, local government and local leaders, the push to encourage people, particularly Black people, to get the vaccine is getting extra attention. DuJuan McCoy, the owner of Circle City Broadcasting, which airs WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV 23, is now one of the more than 1.2 million Hoosiers who have received the first of two vaccine doses.

McCoy said he always knew he’d get the vaccine; he believes his confidence in it will encourage more to take their sleeves up.

Data has illustrated the impact of a longstanding vaccine hesitancy. It’s been an ongoing topic since before the vaccine started being distributed.

McCoy said, “For me, I’m generally a healthy guy but as a community leader I think it’s important for me to be out here.”

Based on data where ethnicity and race information is available, the CDC shows nationally that white people have received two-thirds of the vaccines. Multiracial, Hispanic, Black, Asian and Native Americans trail behind. As far as gender, women take the lead in vaccinations.

For several weeks now, Walmart employees giving the vaccinations have set up shop at the Indianapolis Urban League, 777 Indiana Ave.

Maureen Barnes-Israel, a Walmart pharmacist, said Monday, “So, we’ve seen people come from all over the city to come to this clinic to get their vaccine, but it has primarily been serving the community that lives downtown in in the downtown areas.”

Several Marion County groups, including the public health department, have taken extensive steps to educate the community with facts and data. Many people are taking the wait-and-see approach to getting the vaccine but as time passes; the hope is vaccine hesitancy may lift.

McCoy said if all it takes is 30 minutes to help end the virus, he’s here for it.

“I think our country has become more equitable, and so I think everybody should make their own decision, but I really encourage everyone to get the shot.”

The Urban League can serve roughly 200 people per day. Organizers said the ability to register online and through by phone at 211 has helped ease the registration process.

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