MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Debunking misinformation and easing anxiety in the Black community will be the message behind a virtual forum hosted by The Church at the Well with Dr. Kizzy Corbett later on this month.
Dr. Corbett is the Black woman scientist praised by Dr. Anthony Fauci for her work developing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pastor Kia Moore said she understands the fears, but people can’t ignore how the virus has impacted the Black community at higher levels.
As the pandemic rages on, Moore said she wants her congregation to have as much information as possible about the vaccine.
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According to the state’s health department, less than 4 percent of Black Tennesseans have received it so far.
“A lot of people want to know how young is too young to get the vaccine,” said Moore. “There are some people who want to know what underlying health issues might be triggered or exacerbated by the vaccine.”
Moore is hosting a Facebook Live discussion next weekend with a woman who knows more about the COVID-19 vaccine than most – Dr. Kizzy Corbett from the National Institute of Health.
You may be familiar with her by now as one of the scientists who worked with Moderna to develop its vaccine.
“I think to have a millennial African American woman who is at the helm of this ground-breaking research and this life-saving vaccine will be so amazing for millennials to hear and baby boomers alike and we’re hearing from directly from her,” said Moore. “This isn’t someone who is far removed from our community. She is a part of our community.”
Pastor Moore says there’s some built-up mistrust about medical advances in the Black community because of studies like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment where Black men were unknowing used as test subjects, and not given treatment for the disease.
She said the goal of the conversation is to educate her congregation and keep the discussion going.
“The millennials and GenXers can talk to their parents and grandparents about it,” Moore said. “People who may not be as technologically savvy, who may not know how to log in, we can be those conduits of information and speak to our communities on our jobs, in their sororities and their fraternities, whatever community organizations or even a Facebook post
Pastor Moore says the Church at the Well has about 375 members. But like many churches, they’ve been streaming services online and she’s hopeful this virtual conversation could reach thousands.
The discussion will be next Sunday afternoon on the church’s Facebook Live.
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