Leaders work to get vaccines to minority communities

Child care educators are now eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Ohio.
Child care educators are now eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Ohio.(WOIO)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 8:27 PM EDT
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published March 5, 2021 at 4:43 PM EST - Updated March 5 at 4:43 PM on www.fox19.com)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) (Great Health Divide) - City leaders say there is a disparity when it comes to getting the vaccine to minorities in the community.

Now, they are offering up solutions on what can be done for minorities.

The lack of equal distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines to black populations is something that people are seeing across the country.

“It saddens me because I did attempt early on to be prepared for something of this nature,” said Sheri Jackson with NOW Healthcare Solutions.

Jackson said she experienced it firsthand when she tried to get her mother vaccinated.

“She [Jackson’s mother] is in the Roselawn area. I had to put my location in to get a location close to her that is in the Cincinnati area,” said Jackson. “There was nothing available within a 25-mile radius for her.”

Its experiences like Jackson’s in part why Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reese is proposing to launch a COVID-19 vaccine mobile unit in Hamilton County.

The mobile unit would be RV style, with refrigeration, bringing the vaccine to the people.

“We now have to make sure that we will have the supply, get the supply to African Americans and those who are in low-income communities who may have issues with transportation and may not be able to have the technology to make those appointments,” said Commissioner Reece.

“The myth that African Americans don’t want to get the vaccine that is a fallacy,” said NAACP President Joe Mallory. “What we have is there is a lot of demand for the vaccine. African Americans want the vaccine, but the supply is not keeping up with the demand, and there’s also the mobility issues.”

Commissioner Reese is in the process of sending a letter to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine asking for this.

“It’s a sense of urgency in the African American community, it’s affecting us tremendously,” said Dr. Brian Walker of Walker Funeral Home.

Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman released a statement reading in part, “We have been working to bring vaccination to minority communities via churches, civic centers, and other trusted locations. Twenty percent of our vaccine allocation is dedicated to these communities.”

Commissioner Reese said they will be launching a pilot COVID-19 mobile unit on a smaller scale out of Woodlawn on Feb. 11. She hopes to use this as a model to present to the state.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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