Memphis church works to raise vaccination rate in black neighborhood

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 3:58 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This Saturday Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination event.

“Statistics show that the 38019 zip code is one of the highly affected areas and the least vaccinated area,” said Adrian Killebrew, a Trustee Board Chairman of Bloomfield.

Killebrew says the church has gone door to door encouraging folks to get vaccinated.

“Our concern is the fact that people accepted misinformation and not coming out to get vaccinated,” he said.

Currently African Americans make up about 17 percent of the population in Tennessee. 11.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

Vaccine hesitancy in the black community has been linked to a history of disenfranchisement, especially when it comes to drug research.

Methodist Clinical Pharmacist Morgan Jones says Pfizer and Moderna included black people in their vaccine trials.

“These drug companies are making an effort to ensure that these vaccines are studied in enough people of color to get viable vaccine information about safety in this specific population,” said Jones.

African Americans made up about 10 percent of the participants in the vaccine trials.

“In your eyes you may say, ‘only 10 percent’, he said, “That’s the number that those trials worked to give, that would be representative of the percent of the general American population.”

Killebrew says he encourages his community to get vaccinated because many have been impacted by the virus.

“Everyone has been affected by the virus and have had loved ones that passed from not being vaccinated. It’s simple math to me. Your chances are better with the vaccination.”

Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church’s vaccine event is October 9th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. They will be giving out first and second doses of Moderna and Pfizer and a booster shot.

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