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The Vaccine Gap

In the city of Trenton, faith leaders are helping to close the vaccination gap.
Reverend Darrell Armstrong of Shiloh Baptist Church takes a selfie with Carrie Raymore and her daughter Janice Phillips and family.Courtesy Reverend Darrell Armstrong

About this episode:

Black Americans have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus, but they aren't being vaccinated at the same rates as white Americans. Black people are receiving fewer than 7 percent of total vaccine doses, despite representing more than 13 percent of the population. This gap is often based on mistrust of the medical establishment, but there is more to the story. Issues of access mean many folks who want the vaccine, can’t get it.

Janice Phillips tells Trymaine Lee she has been trying to get the vaccine for her 103-year-old mother for months. She and her mother live in Trenton, New Jersey, a city of 85,000 that is near half Black. She watched the news in frustration as she saw images of White residents getting their shots in surrounding suburbs. In New Jersey, just 4 percent of vaccine doses have gone to Black residents.

So last month, the state launched a new effort that relies on members of the community to help close the access gap. It’s a community partnership that relies on faith leaders to help get communities of color vaccinated. Trymaine speaks with Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora about this new program. And Reverend Darrell Armstrong of Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton shares the story of how he helped get Janice Phillips and her centenarian mother vaccinated.

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Find the transcript here.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy meets Carrie Raymore and family.Courtesy Reverend Darrell Armstrong
Carrie Raymore, who is 103-years-old, receives her first Covid-19 vaccination at Iglesia Pentecostal Assemblies Church in Trenton, N.J.Courtesy Reverend Darrell Armstrong

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