a vaccine doesn’t matter, the vaccination is what matters,” said Adams. “So step one is acknowledgment, but step two is addressing those concerns in a meaningful way.”
He also says faith leaders can play a critical role.
“I’d rather have your pastor tell you to go out and get your blood pressure checked than your doctor. Why? Because a lot of people particularly in communities of color and in the South are going to be more likely to do something because their pastor tells them to do something than because their doctor tells them to do it,” Adams said. Adams’s presumptive remark may have some credence based on medical distrust in communities of color.
A closer look at the basis for hesitancy in receiving the vaccine finds that historical wrongs, like the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments, which ended in 1972, have played a major role in contributing to Black mistrust of the health care system. In another case, the “immortal” cells of Henrietta Lacks were shared without her consent and have been used in medical research for more than 70 years.
The most recent application includes COVID vaccine research, yet her family has received no financial benefit. These facts, along with inadequate medical access, remain at the forefront of medical distrust in the African American community.
The state of Mississippi has an African American population of 38 percent. To help increase the number of African Americans getting vaccinated increased sites are being established including drive-through locations.
There is no restriction for receiving the vaccination in the county where you reside. However, since COVID-19 vaccination requires two doses, arrangements for your second vaccination should be at the same location that you received your first vaccination to ensure accurate recordkeeping. If you are 18 or older, please schedule an appointment online through our UMMC partners. When you arrive for testing, expect vaccination and related paperwork to take about 10 minutes. We also have a 15-minute observation period after vaccination.
Use the link below to schedule an appointment for vaccination.
If scheduling online isn’t convenient, call the Mississippi COVID-19 Hotline for assistance: (877) 978-6453.
Vaccination sites, eligibilty and appointments can be found at https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,22816,420,976.html