Within the last six months, there have been widespread notions about the reluctance many Black Americans have when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. While many are hesitant to get the vaccine, studies show that Black Americans are no more hesitant to get the vaccine than many other groups. However, many Black Americans do have more trouble accessing the vaccine than other racial groups. Recent NPR analysis found that COVID-19 vaccine sites were missing from predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods in Louisiana, Texas and Alabama. Furthermore, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy found that Black residents in Atlanta, New Orleans and Dallas were often asked to drive further than their white neighbors to reach COVID-19 vaccination sites. Thankfully, health officials, lawmakers and public figures, Jalen Rose, are working to remedy these disparities.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, former NBA star Jalen Rose is doing what he can to give back to his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Having grown up in a city that is overwhelmingly Black, Rose knows all too well about the barriers that prevent marginalized groups from accessing proper healthcare. As a result, he has turned his school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, into a mass vaccination site. Students, parents, staff and nearby community members can all receive shots through the pop-up site on May 6. Insurance cards will not be needed as the ESPN personality hopes to make this event as accessible as possible.
“I understand people that look like me don’t necessarily have the utmost trust in government or law enforcement or even medicine based on our history in the United States,” Rose told the Detroit Free Press.
“But this is different. This is unique. This is deadly. And it’s important for me to do what I can to spread that message. ... I don’t want citizens of Detroit to feel threatened that getting the Pfizer shot, getting the vaccination shot, is going to do something to put you in peril, or something that’s going to be to your detriment. But it’s something that is going to be to our benefit, that allows us to get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Rose and JRLA have moved toward virtual learning environments during the pandemic. With efforts like this, he and his students can move back to a regular learning environment in the fall.
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