Local church aims to increase COVID-19 vaccinations within black community

KNWA

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Several local organizations are focusing on increasing access to the COVID-19 vaccine within minority communities.

The Historic St. James Missionary Baptist Church, a pillar in the black community is partnering with Walmart to offer a vaccination clinic right here in its parking lot, this Sunday following service.

Pastor Curtiss Smith says it’s important for its church to take a leadership role in the vaccination process to protect its community.

With the help of black doctors, health experts and other prominent leaders within its congregation-they did their own research, hosted informational meetings and launched an awareness video to speak to the safety of the vaccine.

CREDIT: THE HISTORIC ST. JAMES MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

Smith says he understands the hesitation in the black community and the deep-rooted distrust they feel but he is encouraging everyone to keep an open mind.

“We want to make sure that we dispel the myths that’s out there with regards to at least this vaccination that it is safe… and if we want to get to some form of normalcy, we want to encourage people to really think about getting it,” said Smith.

This Sunday will also be the first time St. James will continue in-person church service in over a year since switching to live streamed services because of the pandemic.

Now they are using the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine, approved for those 18 and older. The vaccination clinic is taking place Sunday, April 11, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Call 833-886-0023 to make an appointment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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