Mar. 13—The Richmond-Madison County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in partnership with the Madison County Health Department will host a vaccine drive on March 29.
According to Mitch Brown, the president of the local NAACP chapter, he was made aware the Black community had higher rates of contracting the virus.
Also, many in the community were apprehensive about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Because of this, the group partnered with the health department and local experts to host a free virtual public discussion with Dr. Jai Gilliam, M.D., Baptist Health, to dispel myths about vaccines in communities of color and to provide professional medical insights into COVID-19 vaccines.
"What Dr. Gilliam said is that,'The Black Community cannot continue to allow the scars of our past to affect the choices we need to make in the future,' and we want to give folks a chance to ease these apprehensions," Brown reiterated.
Along with the online discussion to make people more comfortable about getting the vaccine, the organizations opened registration to schedule a vaccine for the drive.
So far, around 40 people have signed up to receive the vaccine during the drive, which was a number Brown said he wished to increase.
"It means a lot to us that we address the areas where things have happened in the past to enlighten in the community that decisions that we make today have happened in the past," Brown said.
Vaccines will be administered by appointment at the Madison County Health Department located at 214 Boggs Lane in Richmond. Registration is required.
The COVID-19 vaccine to be given will be either the Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccine. There will be no charge for the vaccine.
Persons with appointments will be encouraged to arrive 10 minutes ahead of their appointment time. Upon arrival, persons will need to wait in their vehicle until greeted by personnel, and they will also need to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
To register for a vaccine appointment, call 859-544-6570 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
For persons with transportation challenges, Foothills Express can provide free transportation to local vaccination appointments depending upon their availability.
Foothills Express advises persons to call 48 hours in advance to schedule the transportation appointment. Mask wearing and social distancing are to be practiced while riding with Foothills Express. Upon securing a vaccination appointment, a transportation appointment can be scheduled by calling Foothills Dispatch toll-free at 800-819-7083 or locally at 859-624-3236.
"The intent of the vaccine drive is to increase the number of persons of color in our community obtaining life-saving vaccines" a release about the drive stated.
In Kentucky, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) indicates that 4% of vaccinations have been given to Black Kentuckians, although Black Kentuckians represent 8% of the overall population and 9% of Kentucky's COVID-19 deaths.
Data on the Hispanic population are not available, but nationally, KFF reports Hispanic people also receiving smaller shares of vaccinations relative to their shares of the cases, deaths, and total population.