The NAACP Pasadena Branch is teaming with Huntington Hospital to begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations to the local African-American community, starting with 100 doses this Saturday, according to the organization.
The vaccine clinics follow other efforts by the NAACP to fight the spread of the pandemic, such as educational outreach and an event in late January in which 635 people received COVID-19 tests, said NAACP Pasadena President Allen Edson.
“It’s a big deal for me personally that we can pull this off and people are stepping up. The hospital has stepped up,” Edson said. “With that relationship with the hospital, we’ll be able to do some other things beyond this.”
The organization was reaching out to local African Americans who are eligible to receive vaccinations and expected to have all spots filled by Friday, he said.
Those who receive their first doses on Saturday will be scheduled to return for their second doses on March 6, Edson said.
“We’ll probably be at this until at least September,” he added.
Skepticism over the vaccines in the African-American community makes outreach vital, Edson said.
“I wasn’t always convinced that I was going to take the vaccine, myself. But we’ve rolled out a campaign and had some doctors talk to our membership. The first responders talked to our membership, and they gave some very good information,” Edson said.
“They dispelled a lot of the assumptions that are going on in the Black community. They broke down some of the myths that are happening. And so after that, I decided to take the vaccine,” he said.
Edson said he planned to receive his first dose on Saturday and hoped his example might help persuade others to do the same.
More information is available by contacting the NAACP Pasadena at (626) 793-1293.
More information on the local NAACP’s response to the pandemic is available on the organization’s website at naacppasadena.org/covid-19-resources.