Metro working to increase vaccinations in communities of color

Posted at 10:53 AM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 11:53:20-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Health officials say they are coming up with several strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in communities of color.

Health officials say they are going to use the same types of strategies they used to get more people of color tested for COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic.

As of now, nearly 52,000 Nashvillians have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – which is 7.4% of the population. Nashvillians who fall into Phase 1a and people 75 and older can get it.

When you break down the numbers, 19% of Black people over 75 have been vaccinated, 23% of Hispanics over 75 have received the vaccine and 34% of white people over 75 have been vaccinated.

Metro Public Health is going to partner with organizations that historically serve under-served communities, like churches and immigrant outreach groups. They say some businesses have also offered space to do vaccinations to help out.

“This is top of mind, I'll tell you, for me... for Dr. Wright, for the mayor, when we talk about this. And it's something we're going to continue to work on. The fact that we've increased our percentages from single digits to now 19 and 23 percent is a good start. It's not the end by any means,” said Metro Public Health’s Dr. Alex Jahangir.

Health officials say they want the right message about the vaccine to get out, so people feel comfortable getting it.

Read more: What to expect if you're getting a COVID vaccine at Music City Center