Governor praises Wichita group for vaccination efforts
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - COMMUNITIES OF COLOR STILL LAG BEHIND THE OVERALL COVID-19 VACCINATION RATE IN KANSAS, BUT THE GAP IS CLOSING.
LAST MONTH AFRICAN AMERICANS in Kansas WERE LESS THAN HALF AS LIKELY TO GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE AS WHITES. The vaccination rate for other communities of color were just as low. But not anymore.
Dr. Ximena Garcia, a COVID-19 vaccination equity advisor, said, "Every week we're getting closer closing the gap, because the rate of vaccination has increased more in minority and racial and ethnic minority groups."
Gov. Laura Kelly said, "I've learned that I've got a new partner in town, and I plan to take full advantage of them."
THE GOVERNOR AND OTHERS CREDIT THE BLACK NURSES ASSOCIATION OF WICHITA WITH MUCH OF THAT CHANGE IN SEDGWICK COUNTY.
ARRANGING VACCINATION CLINICS IN HISTORICALLY BLACK CHURCHES and lEADERS IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY have been HOLDING FACEBOOK LIVES TO SHARE THE EXPERIENCE WITH OTHERS HESITANT TO GET VACCINATED are just some of the ways they've spread the word.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said, "People are looking towards Wichita because we are standing out as the community that actually has covid on the run."
The governor says she's learned a lot from this group about how to reach other underserved communities across the state.
"What it makes very very clear is that we will have success in getting shots into arms if we have the right people talking to the people," she said.
Now these nurses are calling for everyone who's been vaccination to begin telling their friends and family all about the experience.
"We vaccinated over 1,000, and I'm sure there will be many more that were going to be vaccinated because right now, we need to target youth," the Black Nurses Association President Linda Wright said.
THE GOVERNOR SAYS METHODS USED BY THE BLACK NURSES ASSOCIATION IN WICHITA CAN BE USED IN OTHER COMMUNITIES. THAT INCLUDES THINGS LIKE USING LOCAL CHURCHES AS VACCINATION SITES AND ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO SHARE THEIR VACCINE EXPERIENCES TO CALM THE WORRIES OF HESITANT KANSANS.