Black leaders are ramping up their encouragement that all Nashville residents get the COVID vaccine, especially now that more is available. On Thursday night, they held an open Zoom meeting to take questions from people who are leery of taking the vaccine.
African Americans have died at much higher rates from COVID-19, and Black residents in Nashville are still lagging in vaccinations, despite recent efforts to make doses more accessible. Nonprofit clinics and even popup events in historically Black North Nashville have not overcome other barriers.
Of those eligible for vaccination in Davidson County, roughly half of white residents have had at least one dose. About four in 10 Hispanic residents have begun their vaccinations, and for Black residents, it’s closer to three in 10.
One concern is side effects. Dr. Joanna Shaw-KaiKai admitted they lasted several days when she received her second shot.
“Yes, you might not feel well after that second dose, but you will get better in a few days,” she told the virtual audience.
Nationally, the rate of vaccination among white people is running about twice as high as Black people, according to tracking by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“We have some ways to go in boosting up those numbers, and the good news is that we can with your help,” Shaw-KaiKai said.
The efforts to address hesitancy will continue in the coming days. Rep. Harold Love Jr., who is a pastor at Lee Chapel AME, is holding a drive-in event at his church March 13.