Birmingham pastor worried about vaccine hesitancy

Birmingham pastor worried about vaccine hesitancy
Pastor Michael McClure

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - This week there will be more opportunities for people to get COVID vaccinations with FEMA opening a mass drive through site in Bessemer.

One Birmingham pastor is still concerned if African Americans will take advantage of the shots.

Pastor Mike McClure of Rock Creek Church said people need to do all they can to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But, the pastor added some are not and unfortunately many are African American.

If you look at the latest information from the Alabama Department of Public Health, just over 900,000 people are fully vaccinated in the state. Of that number 55% is white and almost 19% are African American.

“You know we see the vaccinations are happening. Although the numbers are up, we still see a disproportionate number of people are being vaccinated in the urban communities,” said McClure.

Pastor McClure says there are variety of reason where African Americans are making up a smaller size of the those getting shots.

“We can not ignore years of hesitation and manipulation of the justice system and healthcare system. So many African Americans are aware of the Tuskegee experiment,” McClure said.

McClure said for others it comes down to simple access and transportation.

“If someone has to get to work, if they have to hitch hike or get to work by certain time getting all the way to the Hoover Met or the airport by the time they close is difficult,” McClure said.

McClure is calling on employers to allow workers to get time off or not lose work time to get their shots.

McClure said he plans to continue to get the message out to his congregation and the community in church or social media to get those vaccinations. He welcomed any effort to get out physically into communities to spread the word. McClure and his wife are set to get their second shot this week as an example.

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