What’s driving the rising vaccination rates for Black residents?

By Jalon Hill, QCity Metro

On a recent Saturday in the NoDa area, Carolyn Williams waited in line at a CVS pharmacy, preparing to get her first coronavirus vaccination.

For nearly a year, she had resisted the idea of getting the shot. Like any number of reluctant Americans who have been labeled as “vaccine hesitant,” Williams, who is Black, was concerned that the shot might trigger unknown health effects.

But then, about a month ago, she got sick with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. She described the experience as “scary.”

Now waiting in line at the pharmacy, Williams said she was through taking chances.

“I just want to get the vaccine so I can be safe,” she told QCity Metro. “I got grandkids and kids.”

Williams, 57, may be emblematic of a quiet trend.

As health officials continue to stress the need for more Americans to get inoculated against Covid-19, and as more employers are demanding that workers get the shots, the vaccination gap that once separated Black Americans from their White counterparts is starting to close, health officials are reporting.

In North Carolina, 44% of Black residents have now had at least one Covid-19 shot, according to data posted online by the state Department of Health and Human Services. That compares to 49% of White residents.

In other words, what was once a 10-point gap in early April has now been cut in half.

Read more at QCityMetro.com.

The Charlotte Journalism Collaborative is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems.