Medical Community Works To Persuade Black Community To Take COVID Vaccine

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Health care experts are focusing their attention on educating the Black community about taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Polling done in the community shows many have a mistrust of the medical community because of past experimentation on People of Color.

Efforts are underway to stop the misinformation and get people prepared to take this life-saving vaccination.

“Keep wearing your masks, keep social distancing, because your life depends on it, “ said Shirlynn LaChapelle.

One small group at a time, the nurse of 46 years is working to stop the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“So any questions about the vaccine,” LaChapelle said.

Lots of questions but more concerns about a vaccine they don’t feel comfortable taking. Some point to past practices of medical experimentation on Blacks, like the Tuskegee experiment of untreated syphilis on Black men.

“We remember what happened in the past, but this is different. This is life and death, and not only are we going to be getting the vaccine but everybody else as well, and one of the doctors who helped develop this vaccine was an African-American woman,” LaChapelle said.

Those who listen say they are now armed with information to help others believe in the vaccine.

“I done see the ones that don’t wear a mask, some of them that is uneducated about it, but they need to be educated about it. When you see these people you have to take to them with a straight eye, say ‘Hey man, here have a mask, put it on, you know, go get the shot,’” said Darion Scott.

LaChapelle’s message can also be heard on the airwaves. KMOJ Radio is just one of several stations she uses to reach the Black community, and it’s working.

“I think the vaccine is very necessary for me because I want to live, because I have grandchildren — I have 11 of them — and I want to see my family,” said Lawrence Coleman.

LaChapelle hopes sharing the fact that she has already taken her first dose will help ease the minds of many in her community.

“I can’t wait to get my second shot and if I’m going to gamble, I’m going to gamble on the side of prevention,” LaChapelle said.

LaChapelle also spreads her message about taking the vaccine on KFAI Radio. She has partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health to help make sure everyone understands the importance of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.


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