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New York Covid Vaccine Task Force For Vaccine Equity And Education Launched Toolkit To Provide Vital Covid-19 Vaccine Information To Black Communities

Image courtesy New York Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education

The New York Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education launched “Roll Up Your Sleeves New York, The Covid-19 Vaccine Toolkit for Black Communities,” a toolkit that equips Black communities with outreach and educational materials to combat the covid-19 virus.

The covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on communities of color. Nationwide, Black people are dying at a rate 2.5-3 times higher than other groups. Because covid-19 has most severely impacted Black and brown communities throughout New York City and across the nation, it is in these communities where information and outreach must be concentrated and shared with urgency. Information sharing can stamp out misinformation and fear that often pervades overlooked and underserved communities, hindering access to adequate health care.

“Overcoming #COVID19 vaccine skepticism doesn’t happen overnight. “The Roll Up Your Sleeves Toolkit” is packed with the resources for community leaders, clergy and anyone civically engaged to dispel rumors and garner vaccine trust in Black and brown communities. We are working to address years of distrust and we can need all hands on deck to get our community to herd immunity.” said Marc Morial, president and CEO of National Urban League and co-chair of the New York COVID Vaccine Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education.

“We started this task force in New York to ensure the vaccine is readily accessible to Black New Yorkers and address concerns in Black communities about the safety and efficacy of the covid-19 vaccine. Recently, I took group of clergy leaders to get vaccinated and dispel fears in my community. Now with the Roll Up Your Sleeves toolkit, we can distribute accurate and accessible information to help demystify the covid-19 vaccine.” said Rev Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network and co-chair of the New York COVID Vaccine Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education.

“The covid-19 pandemic revealed the realities of healthcare deserts in communities of color and the dangers of misinformation. Black and brown communities suffered tremendously due to a lack of medical access, lack of accurate information and greater exposure to the virus because of their occupation or crowded living conditions. With the Roll Up Your Sleeves toolkit, we hope to dispel some of the myths about the vaccine, gain community trust and help save lives.” said Senator Nina Turner, founder of Amare Public Affairs and co-chair of the New York COVID Vaccine Task Force for Vaccine Equity and Education.

“It is not a new phenomenon that systemic and overt racism practiced in healthcare, government, and all aspects of civic life have made Black and brown communities most susceptible to covid-19, and now skeptical of the vaccine. But now, as the vaccine is rolled out, it is up to us to rewrite our own history. We need to do the work, and that starts with information sharing,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of FPWA.

The toolkit is available for download at rollupyoursleevesny.org. The website also currently hosts multi-lingual social media messaging created by New York City. Throughout the month of March, additional educational resources will be added.

The task force led by Morial, Sharpton, and Turner partnered with FPWA to develop the toolkit based on the organization’s experience organizing Black communities during the 2020 Census.

This fact-based outreach and education program will be followed by an effort to identify, with specificity, safe and easy to reach locations for Black New Yorkers to receive the vaccine.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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