Local leaders and physicians are hoping to get more of minority groups vaccinated, Ochsner sets up at live virtual chat to address hesitations

Updated: Feb. 10, 2021 at 5:48 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - One of the biggest concerns for the state is not only just vaccinating as many people, but also including minority groups. Today, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome got her first dose of the vaccine, and she is hoping more will follow her lead once they get the chance to.

“This vaccine will certainly help those vulnerable populations which are often with the African American community to stay safe and help certainly mitigate the possibility of them getting this what has turned out to be in many instances a deadly virus,” says Broome.

Getting as many vaccinated as possible will help stop the spread of the virus and create more of that herd immunity. However, according to the Louisiana Department of Health, not as many minority groups are getting vaccinated. Ochsner physicians hosted a Facebook live chat to try and ease some of the hesitations from those in the Black community.

“I think it’s important to understand historic context of racism in health care, science, and research in our everyday lives that validate the mistrust that the Black community has for this research,” says Dr. Eboni Price-Haywood who is the director of Ochsner Primary Care Research Network and associate professor of Medicine at Ochsner Clinical School.

Past experiences in the health care system are causing those in the Black community to turn away from the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s why more physicians are trying to share their experience, whether participating in the vaccine trials or just simply talking about how they were feeling after the shot.

“I do think it’s important for leaders in the African American communities like myself and Dr. Smith who have been vaccinated, who trust the science, who also understand the experience of the African Americans in the health care system is subject to resurge that we do take responsibility to be the voice of truth,” adds Dr. Price-Haywood.

The Louisiana Department of Health is also providing educational charts and fact sheets online in different languages about the vaccine that way everyone is getting the information they need.

The Ochsner Facebook live chat is still up for you guys to watch it, the video features several other Ochsner specialists.

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