GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – COVID-19 vaccinations are starting across North Carolina, with CarolinaEast Health System in New Bern giving medical workers the first shots in our region.

However, polls show there are many people who don’t feel comfortable getting the vaccine. A group in the east is using virtual connections to answer questions and ease concerns everyone may have, especially in the Black and brown communities.

“I think that’s coming from a long-standing history of historical mistreatment of Blacks and other people of color,” said Dr. Crystal Cene, the executive director for Health Equity for the UNC Health System.

Information about the vaccine and the virus can be hard to navigate. The N.C. Community Outreach and Wellness Center is working to break it all down, using video chats. 

“We will have Dr. Michelle Laws, who is the assistant director of DHHS, and so she will be discussing the stats, we’ll do a question-and-answer section in which people have the opportunity to ask questions about the vaccine,” says Barbara Gaskins. 

Conversations also include community and faith leaders as well as COVID-19 survivors. The goals are stopping COVID’s spread and the impact it’s having on groups. 

Health experts want people of color to know they’ve been represented in the vaccine’s testing program.

“We do know the effectiveness and the safety of the vaccine in our racial and ethnic populations,” Cene said. “We have really an opportunity to be involved in creating a solution to this pandemic.” 

This virtual meeting is open to everyone, whether you want to ask questions or just listen to answers others are getting. 

The Zoom meeting will begin at 3 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 959 0698 0260 Zoom Passcode: enccovid19 Call in number: +1 929 436 2866

For more information you can also contact Barbara Gaskins at 252.402.6445