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The vaccination race brings together key assistants to combat distrust

CHICAGO (AP) – His last job was to sell a car, but in his new show, trying to change the situation against the epidemic, Herman Simmons knows that it is not so overwhelming or overwhelming.

He is one of more than 50 awareness workers at a Chicago hospital who was drafted to promote COVID-19 vaccination in severely affected STDs.

Their job is to reach out to strangers in laundries, grocery stores, churches, distribute educational materials, and prescribe vaccinations to those who wish.

“I see myself as my brother’s guardian. I’m not trying to force them. “I am stubborn,” he said.

Top U.S. health officials say they are in the race to vaccinate as many people as possible as COVID-19 versions spread, mask removal rules are eased, and Americans want to get back to normal.

As part of these efforts, the Biden administration announced on Thursday that it would invest about $ 10 billion to expand access to vaccines for colored communities, rural areas, low-income people and other vulnerable communities. Part of the money will go to community health centers. Funding is mainly provided by the American Rescue Program.

While about 2.5 million people are vaccinated daily in the United States, և 1 in 3 adults have received at least one shot, with almost as many saying they are skeptical or will not be vaccinated.

“There will be a solid nucleus that will never want to be vaccinated. There is nothing we can do about it,” said Dr. Eric Toner, senior scientist at the Eric Ons Hopkins Center for Health and Safety.

He said that number would hardly prevent effective control of the virus. To make sure this is not the case, the authorities are working to change the mindset of promoting access to minority communities where skepticism is a barrier to vaccination.

They show that the leaders of the Socialist Party are being recruited, advocating for the benefits of vaccinations during Sunday services, and holding meetings where experts are dispelling myths. Michigan enlisted in hairdressing salons and salons. Mobile clinics have been set up to vaccinate California migrant workers on the Kentucky Runway.

In the socially distant age of COVID-19, the work of collector trenches has become commonplace.

Simmons is this, kind and talkative. Natural for this type of work.

“I say I was a little scared at first” about getting the shots. He tells them that he has friends, family members who have died, how easy it is to register.

Sometimes it’s hard to sell.

“I would like to say that I get more registrations than not,” said Simmons, “but I do not think so.”

“They do not trust it. “Some people think the vaccines were made too fast to be safe,” he said. “They feel like laboratory rats.”

This is a common story. But that is not the whole story.

For many blacks, distrust of medical care is profound. Their reasons are varied, violent and often justified. And they do not even begin with Tuskegee, a US government study that began in 1932 on the treatment of men with syphilis.

Distrust stems from the surgeries of enslaved women to the absence of men in studies that guide modern medical decisions. It includes misconceptions that claim racial-based biological differences և disrespectful treatment in the doctor’s office.

Some people are afraid of needles. Some people believe in internet myths. And some say they’re going to get vaccinated, but they want to wait and see how others get better first. For some, the problem is not getting to vaccination sites, not the internet, knowing where and when to get vaccinated, or seeing a regular doctor. However, the staff is free and you do not need a doctor to get it.

Statistics from some US surveys show a decline in some colored communities, although vaccination rates are still highest among whites. The gap in Chicago has narrowed, but the rate of first doses is 36% white, 30% Hispanic և 24% black.

Simmons has a mission to change that.

On a cold Saturday in March, his battlefield was a laundromat in a working-class neighborhood southwest of downtown Chicago. St. Anthony Hospital set up a temporary center to recruit recruits as alert staff picked up contact information.

Masked with a vaccine folder, Simmons approached 34-year-old Tasha McClinton, a fashionable black woman in long blonde dolls, pulling her clothes out of an orange flat bag and throwing them in the washing machine.

His shirt was the first playing field with the word “Worth the shot” with the image of a syringe. Next he offered to register her. McClinton nodded and listed his reasons.

He said he was not ill and no one in his family had received COVID-19. “It can cause me complications,” he added. Simmons accepted it and left.

But he returned a few minutes later, apologizing “if I ignored you,” he told her. “I was just wondering why you weren’t interested.” He said he did not trust the shooting and refused. his brochures.

“You do not want to be really oppressive,” Simmons said later. “You also had to be a good judge of character.”

CB Johnson, who heads the Chicago Drug Rehabilitation Group in the SJ district where he grew up, is helping those there get vaccinated. He said that the internal loan helps. Patience is the same.

“We deal with a lot of people that a lot of people don’t want to deal with,” said John Onson. “We can give them a chance to say, ‘Oh, if you want to do that, we can get you there, but if you don’t, we’ll still be here when you decide you want to.’ ‘

“When you hear what their concerns are, you hear them, you validate their concerns, then you come back and explain to them, ‘Hey, look, I mean, what happens if you have AIDS?’ who do you catch? Would you like to have a vaccine that helps you? ”

Community activist Debra Stanley helps support a group of former drug users and ex-offenders in South Bend, Indiana. The topic of the recent meeting was vaccinations, the skeptics said.

When Sonya Chandler of Goodwill reported seeing social media reports about the strange side effects of the vaccine, Air Force veterinarian Daryl McKinn rang his cell phone and read aloud the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stanley answered softly. “Daryl got his information from the CDC, you got it from your Facebook. Know your sources. ”

Still, McKinney said he did not trust the US government and would not be vaccinated.

“The last time I was at my hairdresser, a couple of guys were talking about it,” McKinney said. “We will not be guinea pigs.”

Stanley said he had no intention of twisting his arms.

“All we have to do is keep everyone informed, to make sure the most up-to-date information reaches people,” he said. “We never believe that decision-making is our role. Our role is to ensure that people have the best information when they are ready to make their decision. ”

Chandler later said the meeting “made me more aware.” “Now I look at how it can be filmed, because it will help the rest of the community not to get sick.”

Returning to the Chicago Laundry, Simmons defeated Theopulis Polk, a 62-year-old demolition worker who approached the sidewalk. The gray-bearded SS man willingly agreed to register. Inside, he snatched a piece of dog ear paper from his green blanket pocket, grunting, and found one with his phone number written on it.

“I wanted to be vaccinated, but I do not have a primary care physician,” Polk said. He said he knew people who had died from COVID-19 and was working on people who did not wear masks. He lives in this neighborhood, so it will not be difficult to reach the nearby St. Anthony vaccination site.

“I’m afraid of needles. I hate getting any kind of staff. “But you have to,” said Polk. “I do not worry because God is with me.”

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Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner @ LindseyTanner.

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