Dozens of people gathered at the Word of Life International Church in the South Bronx on a recent Saturday for its weekly food bank, but the pastor wanted to ask the crowd a question before the groceries were handed out: Did anyone know where to find the closest vaccination site?
“Yankee Stadium is always open!” shouted one woman, seated on one of the many folding chairs in the windowless, fluorescently-lit room. “Take the six bus, straight up.”
“174th street and 3rd avenue is 24 hours,” said another woman, standing up in the crowd. “You go there at 2 o’clock in the morning, it’ll still be open.”
The pastor, the Rev. John S. Udo-Okon, said he wanted everyone there — mostly Black residents, including seniors and mothers with small children — to know that the coronavirus vaccines were easy to find and, more important, that they would not harm them. More than 80 percent of adults in New York City have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, but there are significant racial disparities in the vaccination rate.
Only 55% of Black New Yorkers have received at least one Covid vaccine dose.
To address the gap, health officials and some Black churches are using the power of the pulpit to vouch for the safety of vaccines and push back against misinformation. https://t.co/fphjG280gQ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 10, 2021