As mask mandates are being lifted across the nation, the need for COVID-19 vaccinations remains high, especially among Black communities. Achieving health equity in vaccinations continues to be a focus for communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. A new national social media campaign aims to address this ongoing crisis and dispel COVID-19 vaccination misinformation.
The campaign, created by Culture ONE World and supported by the CDC Foundation through the Partnering for Vaccine Equity program, features a series of social media videos focused on sharing stories and disseminating accurate vaccine information. The most recent social media videos feature Gaulien ‘Gee’ Smith, owner of the iconic Milwaukee barbershop Gee’s Clippers, and Kimberly Hall, seven-time Food Network baking contender and owner of Signature Sweets Bakery in Shorewood, Wisconsin. The videos were released in April in conjunction with National Minority Health Month.
Partnering for Vaccine Equity is a program focused on reducing disparities in vaccine access. The program aims to increase vaccine equity, currently among adults belonging to racial and ethnic minority groups, by partnering with national, state, local, and community organizations who are working on the ground to increase vaccine confidence and access in their communities.
“It didn’t surprise me that [the vaccine] came out as quick as it did. I thought it was great and it seems to be working. I got COVID once prior to the vaccine coming out and thank God, I made it through,” said Smith, who is one of the first in the country to open a health clinic inside of a barbershop. “Right now, our focus has been COVID. We’ve been giving out a lot of vaccinations. Since vaccinations have been available, we’ve been doing it. We have 2,250 people coming through those doors every single week. That’s a lot of people to protect, inform, and keep safe.”
Smith’s story will be shared in a series alongside that of Kimberly Hall, who launched Signature Sweets Bakery during the pandemic.
“I decided to get the vaccine because I kept seeing them advertise that even if you get COVID, which the vaccines don’t stop you from getting, they will prevent you from getting sicker than if you did not get the vaccine,” said Hall. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Hall shared that she has felt the impact of COVID-19 on the community and has implemented masks and delivery accommodations to make her customers feel safe.
To see similar resources created to increase COVID-19 and Influenza vaccine confidence, visit the Vaccine Resource Hub.