LYNCHBURG, VA. – On Wednesday night, faith and health leaders in Lynchburg hosted a virtual town hall for communities of color and the COVID-19 vaccine. These communities continue to be hard-hit by severe cases, and work is being done to keep people safe.
Five faith and health leaders from Lynchburg gathered together to share the facts. Starting with what the COVID-19 vaccine is, and is not.
“Vaccines were developed essentially to rev up that immune system and enable our bodies to fight infection,” Dr. Winifred Agard of Lynchburg General Hospital said.
The panel was specifically geared toward communities of color. They recognized that historically minorities have been taken advantage of in medical procedures, but said this time, that’s not the case.
“I want to lend that credibility, that validity to our community to say if I did it I’m not going to encourage you to do something that I have not first done for myself,” Keith Anderson of HiliFvrd Ministries said.
Communities of color continue to be affected by the virus at a higher rate than others. It’s unclear why that is, but they say that’s a question to answer once this is all over.
“Whatever the reason, we have to fight the virus now and we have to stop thinking about oh it was created, or this occurred because of this, no, we just have to fight there are too many of us dying,” Shauntell Kline said.
The panelists said leveraging faith communities is an effective way to spread information and encourage inoculation, and that working together can keep more people alive.