COVID-19: Addressing vaccine hesitancy in Toledo’s Black communities
The reasons for vaccine hesitancy in this community are consistent.
TOLEDO, Ohio — With a strong sense of normalcy returning to many parts of the country and vaccine demand dwindling, there’s reason to be concerned. Because many members of a crucial population remain unprotected from COVID-19. But why?
“I think a lot of it has to do with our culture, a lot of it has to do with the history of our fore-parents and not believing in the medical professionals. Historically, we’ve kind of had our own remedies for various types of illnesses, sicknesses,” Perryman explains.
Perryman says that Black Americans, when confronted with something new, which was developed in such a short period of time, have natural concerns. Especially when the Black community has developed and honed its own remedies over the years.
Pastor of Jerusalem Baptist Church in Toledo, Perryman has heard his fair share of vaccine myths and baseless concerns. But how has he combatted them? The same way journalists, health officials, and door-to-door volunteers have: with facts.
“As a minority community, we must stay vigilant, we must stay informed. Therefore, perhaps that will alleviate some of the hesitancy of us being vaccinated,” he said.
Organizations like The Movement have been going door-to-door in their outreach efforts, all in the hopes of inspiring more minorities to get vaccinated. While at the VProject, the focus has been on getting the word out through leaders in the Black community.
It’s also important to note that minority communities have been devastated by COVID-19 far worse than other groups. A culmination of health and financial disparities, as well as misinformation about the virus that has spread rapidly.
While the current outlook on getting the majority of the population vaccinated may seem bleak, Reverend Perryman has some words of inspiration for us all, as well as a piece of advice.
“Let’s get vaccinated. I want to encourage all of our listeners, all of our viewers. Let’s get vaccinated, let’s learn as much as we can, let’s identify all of the research, let’s continue to be informed, and then let’s practice all of those protocols that are necessary,” the faith leader said.