Advocates working to encourage COVID-19 vaccination in communities of color

Jennifer Ly
Created: April 14, 2021 05:57 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Underserved communities in the Rochester area have been struggling to get people vaccinated. Johnson & Johnson’s news Tuesday about reported blood clots prompted the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend a pause in the use of the vaccine out of an abundance of caution. 

“Our big concern is the uneasiness that already exists about taking the vaccine that could spread. It’s already feeding into people’s objections of ‘it was developed too quickly,’” said Julio Sáenz, Chief Communications and Development Officer for Ibero-American Action League. 

Local community organizations realize it has been difficult to get the underserved vaccinated yet are still encouraging communities of color to get vaccinated even with the recent announcement regarding Johnson & Johnson.

“There is cause for concern, but it is helpful to know that the CDC is watching, looking for symptoms and they're not going to let it go to a point where it affects the masses. Six people were enough and that makes me feel as if they're watching and they're making us all safe,” said Dr. Seanelle Hawkins, President & CEO of the Urban League of Rochester. 

Ibero-American Action League recognizes this J&J news could further complicate their efforts. To help continue the education, the organization will set up bi-lingual workshops hosted on their Facebook page to answer any questions from the Latino community. They then replay them on their public radio station 97.1 FM.

Both organizations help helpful information serving their communities. You can visit the Urban League of Rochester's website or the Ibero American Action League's website.

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