State, community leaders pushing effort to get COVID-19 vaccines into communities of color with safe messaging

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — With minorities in Connecticut at a fraction of COVID-19 vaccination totals compared to white residents, the state is ramping up its outreach to people of color in vulnerable communities.

“You’ve got to bring the vaccine to where people are, where they feel comfortable and see their neighbors getting vaccinated,” said CT Governor Ned Lamont at a media event addressing the issue Tuesday.

One way to get their safe vaccination message into the community is through houses of worship.

“We’re paying more attention to our churches because that’s where individuals gather and they really want to get back into their churches and so we’re pushing the vaccine every day,” says Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber of the First Calvary Baptist Church in New Haven.

Community leaders vow to canvas the entire state.

“Hesitancy is real,” Dr. Reginald Eadie, president and CEO of Trinity Health New England said at the governor’s event.

“We have our challenge to make sure that we listen to the community, partner with the community, and make it easier for the community to have access to the vaccine,” added Dr. Eadie. “I commend the people that are in line but they had questions that apparently had never been answered or had been answered at a level which they didn’t really understand.”

Connecticut’s senators also addressed the vaccination disparity at a separate event Tuesday.

“It just of course makes your heart break that the incidents of COVID infection and the incidents of deaths is so much disproportionally higher in communities of color,” said CT Senator Chris Murphy.

Senator Richard Blumenthal who was also on hand talked about working on more financial support in the nation’s capital to help with this troubling trend.

They also mentioned the 211 number for getting vaccine questions answered.

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