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Nebraska organizations promote vaccine education for minority groups

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - According to the Lincoln-Lancaster Co. Health Department, white Nebraskans are being vaccinated at a higher rate.

Meanwhile, the opposite is true for African Americans and Hispanics.

Since the vaccine’s rolled out three months ago, education has been a priority. Even with the proper information, vaccine advocates said there’s still vaccine hesitancy.

Mt. Zion senior pastor Rev. Tremaine Combs said he is trying to promote vaccine education by having public health officials answer questions from people of minority races.

“Our job is not to make anyone get the vaccine, it’s to make sure we provide space and opportunity to ask their questions,” Rev. Combs said.

Data from Lancaster County shows 80% of the county population is white people, but they have been given 90% of the vaccines.

African Americans in the Lincoln area are about 4% of the population but have only been given about 2% of vaccines.

Hispanics make up more than 7% of people, but only 3% of vaccines.

Rev. Combs isn’t surprised.

“Public officials in many ways have lost the trust of our community,” he said.

Combs said the distrust dates back to the Tuskegee study in the 30′s. The CDC said this study was conducted without the consent of 600 black men and they were also not given the proper medication.

‘The only way we can start fixing that issue is building relationships and engaging in conversation and dialogue,” Rev. Combs said.

He also said it’s good to see public health officials of minority races promoting the vaccine in townhalls.

A Bryan Health cardiologist, Dr. Robert Purcell, said, “I have been vaccinated. I was number six at Bryan and I recommend vaccinations for everyone.”

Rev. Combs said people still have doubts, but others are trusting the science.

Mt. Zion will also be providing access to vaccines on Mar. 31. They’ll have their first vaccination clinic where people 16 and up can get a vaccine.

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