San Diego Church Houses Vaccination Clinic To Expand Access To The Black Community – NBC 7 San Diego
The news spread quickly when the Bethel AME Church announced that it would offer vaccinations by appointment or during a face-to-face visit.
“I wasn’t expecting to see so many people, but that’s very good,” said Tony Hopkins, a Logan Heights resident.
Hopkins was one of hundreds to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the event.
“Wow, wow it looks,” said Pastor Harvey Vaughn. “We registered 600 people, but that number has exploded.”
Bethel AME Church is one of the oldest churches in San Diego. It’s been in the community for over 130 years. Vaughn says he believes this is in part why the crowds are so large.
“This event is in the church and I think because it’s in the church people are more comfortable knowing about Bethel Church,” said Pastor Vaughn.
But he admits that the long lines illuminate a much bigger topic.
“This also speaks to the demand for services in underserved churches,” said Pastor Vaughn.
The church is located near Logan Heights and serves a large Black and Brown congregation.
“COVID has had a tremendous impact on this community,” said Pastor Vaughn. âWe saw a lot of people die. Two pastors of this church have died. “
Yet many still hesitate to get the vaccine.
According to district data, only 47.2% of Black San Diegans have received a vaccine dose. That’s 63.9% of whites, 71.1% of Asians and 72.7% of Latinos.
The event is an attempt to promote vaccination among members of the San Diego black community.
“It’s also because of why we host these community events,” said Robert Gillespie, MD, cardiologist at Sharp Rees-Stealy. “Because of this trust, we’re bringing 600 people here.”
Combat vaccine reluctance by trusting one San Diegan at a time.
Gillespie, a member of the Joint Initiatives for Racial Equity in Health, is one of the organizers of the vaccination event.