Black churches are playing big role in COVID-19 vaccine access

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 BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Outreach efforts to get more people of color access to the COVID-19 vaccine are showing promise and it’s all with the help of the black church.

“Actually it was pretty, pretty smooth,” described Shawn Allen just moments after getting his first dose of the Moderna vaccine. He got his shot Friday morning at an Our Lady of the Lake pop-up vaccine clinic at LSU Health Midcity.

“Convenience, or the lack thereof, can be such a hinderance and to bring it right in our community where our people can literally walk over from where they live to get the vaccination is huge,” said Pastor Lynwood Spell of Star Hill Baptist Church.

150 members of his congregation got the vaccine on Friday because of an outreach program with Our Lady of the Lake.

“We knew of the history and the distrust and we wanted to connect with people at their homes, so be in the churches and that’s why we were so adamant about pushing this initiative,” said Chabry Marks, Director of Operations for Our Lady Of the Lake Physician Group.

Marks explained the initiative started with seven churches and has grown to 21. The church’s standing in the black community is helping to get the vaccine to communities hit hardest by COVID-19.

“A faith stance for us simply taking advantage of opportunities that are available, trusting God, and moving forward in that course,” said Pastor Spell.

It’s an opportunity Allen hopes more people will take.

“If it’s gonna kinda get us back to some kind of normalcy, I’m all for it,” said Allen.

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