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Black faith leaders educating community about COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 4:27 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Winburn neighborhood is a predominantly Black and Latino area in Lexington, and health experts have said COVID-19 disproportionately affects these communities and they’re encouraging them to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I have allergies real bad, I have sinuses. My legs hurt all the time,” said Linda Wilson, who lives in Winburn.

Wilson is afraid to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to the possible side effects. She’s not alone-- a recent survey shows only 14% of African Americans trust the vaccine will be safe. Abdul Muhammad, president of the Lexington NAACP chapter, says the history of racism in medicine is to blame.

“It’s what we’ve been dealing with for years. Being tested on and not knowing we’ve been tested on,” Muhammad said.

Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci urges Black Americans to be confident in the COVID-19 vaccine. In part because one of the scientists at the forefront of the vaccine’s development is a Black woman-- Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett. It’s the science that has some willing to get the vaccine.

“I’m willing to get it. My immune system is not that good so my doctor has told me to be the first in line,” said Jonetta Fraiser.

Kentucky officials hope Black faith leaders will help dispel the fears. But whether or not fail leaders will convince their congregations to get the vaccine is still in the question.

“We want to do the best we can to help our communities be healthy,” said Rev. Donte Jackson, a youth and young adult pastor at Consolidated Baptist Church.

Rev. Jackson says Black faith leaders are focused on learning as much as they can about the virus so they can educate their congregations.

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