Cedar Rapids NAACP looking to get more minorities vaccinated

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A concern with Iowa’s vaccine efforts is reaching minority populations. 81% of Iowans who have had the vaccine are white. Just 1% are black. Nearly 15% are unknown because providers are not required to report race.

The Cedar Rapids NAACP is working with Linn County Public Health to hold two vaccine clinics on April 6th and April 10th. They will be at The Roc in the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood.

Cedar Rapids NAACP President Dedric Doolin has helped several Black people get the shot as some people don’t have the ability to keep refreshing a computer for vaccine openings.

“Not everybody can just sit and wait for a slot to open up,” Doolin said. He’s hoping to get more than 100 doses total into arms during the clinics.

“[All] people have to do is sign a consent form,” he said. “We can send them the consent form ahead of time. We can also send them material on the side effects, what the shot entails and those sort of things.”

Doolin said Black people being used as guinea pigs in the World War 2 era has some lacking trust.

“They weren’t told what they were given,” he said. “You know so a lot of people remember the Tuskegee situations that happened years ago.”

University of Iowa Associate Professor Aaron Scherer said misinformation is also playing a role in the vaccine disparity.

“Anti-vaccine groups have been targeting people of color on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “And accurately promoting false information.”

People will get the Moderna vaccine at the clinic. Doolin said they are working with Linn County Public Health for interpreters and to get people rides.

“If the need is out there, then we will try to get people to get what they like to get as far as the vaccine,” said Doolin.

People wanting to sign up for the vaccine can contact Doolin through call or text at 319-560-0482. The first clinic will be April 6th from 4:00pm-6:00pm.

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