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'Shots for Souls': Black community organizations partner to improve vaccination rates

Vaccine
Posted at 10:02 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 23:28:37-04

WACO, Texas — The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District is partnering with Black community organizations for a vaccine clinic this weekend in hopes of improving vaccination rates.

The first "Shots for Souls" clinic will take place on Sunday, Oct. 17, at the health district's building at 225 W. Waco Drive from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It is a partnership between the health district, local Black churches, the Waco NAACP, and VOICE Waco.

Black communities have been hit hard by the virus, but vaccination rates have remained relatively low. Just 10 percent of all fully vaccinated people in McLennan County are African American. However, African Americans make up roughly 15 percent of the total population of the county.

Toliver Chapel Baptist Church is one of the churches participating in Sunday's clinic.

"I think there's so much different information whirling around out there that people don't really know what to believe," Toliver pastor, Dr. Jimmy D. Hunter said.

The "Shots for Souls" clinic hopes to help end stigmas about the shot by having trusted community leaders participate.

"The community can see that this is a safe and reliable medication that can prevent the spread of COVID," said Waco-McLennan County Public Health District director Lashonda Malrey-Horne.

All three vaccines will be available. Participants can get either their first or second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The Waco NAACP chapter will also be providing a free lunch to the first 200 people who get vaccinated on Sunday.