NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Minority communities continue to be "the hardest hit" by COVID-19 and many in the black community told News 4 they're having a hard time not just signing up for the vaccine.

One man told News 4 that he is worried about where the vaccine is being distributed, especially for seniors.

62-year-old Ray Crockett from Murfreesboro is very concerned about the vaccine distribution rollout. He’s happy that the Biden Administration is now in charge, but wants to know specifically how they plan on targeting communities of color that are hardest hit by the pandemic.

When Crockett heard a vaccine was in the works a few months ago, he was skeptical, but hopeful. Now, that optimism is dwindling.

“I noticed that a lot of people were complaining that they didn’t get contacted. It wasn’t available for them. And they really wanted it. And that’s in the African American community,” Crockett said.

He know a lot of elderly people who don’t have transportation, or can’t travel very far to get the vaccine. So, he asked, why don’t officials distribute the vaccine in local churches.

“I never hear a mention of one thing about, as far as vaccinations, location in the churches. None! I know that many churches throughout our community. Offer different services to our seniors, from feeding, etc. Why not offer you know, a vaccine.

Actually, it’s not a far fetched idea. Some states like New York and Florida have opened the doors to their churches for vaccine distribution. We wanted to see if Metro Health would do it in the mid-state. Spokesperson Brian Todd stated the following:

News 4 also contacted the White House. They sent us President Joe Biden’s 200 page national strategy for the COVID-19 response. Inside, the administration says they will create as many venues for vaccinations as needed, working with state and local entities, in communities and settings that people trust.

We reached out to the Tennessee Department of Health to inquire if they plan to consider churches for COVID-19 distribution. A spokesperson tells us that "TDH is in the process of partnering with some faith-based organizations to provide vaccination events.'

For many African American seniors, the sanctuary is a trusted spot. Crockett just hopes more vaccines arrive soon to help stop deadly pandemic now.

“I even worked at a senior citizen center. So I know there are a lot of people hurting,” Crockett said.

 

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