The NAACP San Luis Obispo County Branch hopes to get vaccines into the arms of hard-to-reach and hesitant community members at an upcoming vaccine clinic.
- Photo Courtesy Of NAACP Slo County Branch
- FREE AND EASY The NAACP SLO County Branch is hosting a pop-up vaccine clinic on Nov. 21. It's free, and those receiving their first or second COVID-19 shot can even snag a gift card.
The clinic is planned for Nov. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Paso Robles City Park gazebo, and NAACP is partnering with the SLO County Public Health Department to provide first and second COVID-19 vaccines to those 12 years old and older, booster shots for those eligible, and flu shots. Branch Secretary Cheryl Vines said the organization has been planning the event for a couple of months.
"It's only like 28 percent in San Luis Obispo County, of the Black community, who has actually received the vaccine," Vines said. "So we wanted to provide education and then a place for them to come and actually receive the vaccine."
Dr. Joye Carter, forensic pathologist with the SLO Sheriff/Coroner Division, said vaccine hesitancy in communities of color can be traced back to a longstanding history of medical racism.
"As a physician and a graduate of a historically Black university and college, I know very well the reluctance of people of color to get vaccines," Carter said, "just because of the way medicine has not been available to people of color, lack of access, and the historical experimentation that was done on purpose on people of color."
Carter encourages everyone to get vaccinated, and assured that the vaccine is safe.
"What's important now is that there are people of color who are involved with the development of these vaccines and the way they are being given. This process is being watched very closely by physicians. There was a Black scientist involved in the early development of the vaccine," she said.
Vines hopes the NAACP's involvement can help bridge that hesitancy gap at the clinic. She added that the event was planned for Paso Robles because the communities they're trying to reach largely live in North County.
The event is made possible in part by a vaccine outreach grant that NAACP's SLO County chapter received.
The clinic will also incentivize vaccination by handing out $50 Amazon gift cards to those receiving their first or second COVID-19 vaccine doses, while supplies last. Δ