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LI groups leading grassroots efforts against COVID-19 vaccine skepticism in minority communities

The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be the best defense against the virus. While some are looking forward to getting the show, surveys have shown a portion of African Americans are reluctant.

News 12 Staff

Dec 15, 2020, 2:28 AM

Updated 1,283 days ago

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Local organizations are working to ease COVID-19 vaccine skepticism, especially within minority communities.
The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be the best defense against the virus. While some are looking forward to getting the show, surveys have shown a portion of African Americans are reluctant.
"Given the practices that have happened in the past, whether it's dealing with negligence in care, access, or even trauma," says Jacob Dixon, of Choice for All. "They have may have experienced all of these together with a lack of housing, education and jobs, has impacted the ability of Black people to be a part of and to make an informed decision."
Dixon is the CEO of the Roosevelt nonprofit, which is dedicated to helping the African American community. He says they are out in communities daily with useful information.
"Representation matters. I think what's encouraging is one of those vaccines actually had a Black, African American woman who was a scientist as part of it, and so I think when we get to see her talking about those issue, being able to affirm including Dr. Fauci and others, I think it helps create a little resolve in the community," says Dixon.
In the Hispanic community there have been reports of skepticism about the vaccine, but that may not be as much of a case on Long Island.
"The vaccine right now is something that many members of the community are thrilled to hear about," says Minerva Perez, executive director of the OLA of Eastern Long Island. "They absolutely want access to a vaccine that's going to help them get back to work, get their children back to school."
In the coming weeks and months, community groups will continue their grassroots efforts to inform, talk and listen to any concerns.
"I think this is going to be a work in progress for us, and it's going to take a lot of conversations," says Dixon. "It's not going to be an easy fix."


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