GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It starts with information and education, and a state organization wants our Hispanic and African American communities to understand the virus and how to beat it.
“It’s going to take all of us to get the word out there. The myths and the social media noise is louder than a seminar done by one person or two people at the state level. It’s really got to come from y’all,” said Norma Marti, Minority Outreach Consultant with NC Department of Health and Human Services.
Part of her job is teaching workers in local health departments how to share the facts through “Vaccine 101” training.
“These are proven, secure, trusted, free, no documentation. Those are the messages that we need to get out to the community,” she said.
Members of the Latino task force know many minorities do not trust the vaccine much less the officials overseeing the shots. Jessica Vasquez is a Carteret County Public Health educator. She said she will try to build trust with a community that’s often overlooked and oppressed.
“I think that’s a staple because I think that will break a lot of barriers in terms of the mistrust that our community has from government agencies and hospitals. That’s what we’re doing were starting from boots on the ground,” said Vasquez.
The state is putting effort into helping local workers get the word out to people.
“We have required each of the medical centers to provide data, data metrics, that tell us how they’re reaching out to historically marginalized populations,” said Marti.
Monday’s meeting also looked at another key tool in protecting people, the Slow COVID NC app. It can tell the user if they’ve been around someone with the virus and protect their identity. They say this exposure app is a big part of the state’s contact tracing efforts.