Atrium Health launches COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Black and minority communities

By Jonathan Limehouse

To remove barriers and ease hesitancy surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations in Black and minority neighborhoods, Atrium Health last week kicked off a campaign it’s calling “Community Immunity For All.”

Working with churches and community groups, the campaign will include drive-thru and walk-up vaccination events. It’s first such event was held Thursday at First Baptist Church-West, where appointments were not required.

Why it matters: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Black and Hispanic people are 2.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19 versus other races. The CDC also reports that Black people are 1.4 times, and Hispanic people are 1.7 times, more likely to contract COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus.

“We have all witnessed firsthand the suffering that has occurred in vulnerable communities that don’t have access to life-saving care. And our message is quite simple and clear – we see you, and we are here for you,” Eugene A. Woods, Atrium Health’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Atrium Health vaccinated 299 people during the six-hour event at First Baptists Church-West, Kinneil Coltman, a senior vice president and chief community and eternal affairs officer at Atrium Health, told reporters on Friday.

Other community partners include: C.N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church, Rockwell AME Zion Church, Latino Faith and Health Coalition, Forest Hill Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Camino de Salvación, St. Andrews United Methodist Church, El Buen Samaritano, First Baptist Church in Huntersville, Iglesia Cristiana Puerto Nuevo, ourBRIDGE for KIDS, Negocios Hispanos de Charlotte and the Latin American Coalition.

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This story was produced by the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of six media companies working together in an effort started by the Solutions Journalism Network and funded by The Knight Foundation.