Columbus Public Health Director talks vaccination hesitancy in Black community

Coronavirus
Dr. Townsend, Columbus Health Dpartment

Dr. Townsend, Columbus Health Dpartment

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Columbus’s top health official today addressed COVID-19 vaccine hesitation in the city’s Black community.

While African Americans make up 12.2% of the country, African Americans represent only 5.4% of the vaccinated population. Additionally, Black people have died at disproportionate rates in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hesitancy in the Black community to get vaccinated, is not without cause. America’s long history of maltreatment towards the Black community has led to atrocities like the Tuskegee experiments, which happened only 55 miles away from the drive-thru vaccination clinic where Dr. Townsend, Columbus Public Health Director, was speaking.

Townsend spoke about outreach efforts in the Columbus Black community.

“Some of the other things that we’re doing is that we are actually providing education to those communities,” Townsend said. “We are going into the community. We have liaisons with the churches. And as you know in the south that the churches are very very strong influencers for what people do.”

Townsend also said her office is willing to meet people where they are with the vaccine.

“We are taking it to the people. They don’t have to all come here to get vaccinated we will go and set up a site at a trailer park, we’ll go to a housing area, we’ll go to a church, we will take it to a parking lot, a school, and wherever those communities are that have the most hesitancy so that is the other part of that that we’re doing.”

Currently 29% of Georgians are fully vaccinated while 37.7% of Georgians have had at least one dose.

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