Local health department turns attention to vaccinating minorities

Coronavirus in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia is the first state to vaccinate all its health care workers, first responders and long-term care facility personnel, but there is no resting on laurels.

On the forefront of these past achievements is the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, who once again is setting the bar high by turning their attention to vaccinating groups more vulnerable to the virus.

KCHD worked with the state’s COVID-19 registration system to focus Thursday’s vaccination clinic on the minority population.

Executive Director, Dr. Sherri Young said, “the minority population has unique challenges in regards to COVID-19, including access to care and poor outcomes.”

She explained the African American population scientifically has a higher risk for COVID-19 hospitalization, complications and death.

Roughly 300 people from different ethnic backgrounds were vaccinated Thursday at the North Charleston Community Center on the West Side.

“One of the reasons I’m really happy I came here is, I am known in the African American community in Charleston and if they see me that I took it, it might be an inspiration for others to take it,” said Osagie Ayamru, 68, who received his vaccination.

KCHD will be back this Saturday at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center for its next vaccination clinic. Another community outreach clinic like today’s is planned for next week.

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