UAB diversity research team to begin focus groups for vaccines

Researchers seek to address vaccine concerns among public

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB researchers are going out into disadvantaged communities to learn about vaccine concerns.

Mass vaccinations for COVID-19 are closer to reality, but there is work to be done to make sure that everyone has access.

“We’ve decided to do, and we are starting tomorrow, to go back and ask the community. If the challenge and problem is in the community, the solution is in the community,” said Dr. Mona Fouad, director of UAB’s Minority Health and Research Disparities Center.

The team engaged certain vulnerable communities to spread awareness about the virus itself, now they’ll reach back out to people about the vaccine.

“Stakeholders, faith-based leaders, community organizations, and then just residents in Jefferson County, and then Dallas County and then we will go to Mobile,” said Fouad.

The goal is first to learn about concerns, ranging from fear of vaccine to its effects, then how they will get the vaccine to people who are disabled or don’t have a car.

“We are just going to have to go to the communities and set up, go around and give the vaccine if we have to do that,” said Fouad. They did the same for COVID testing.

She says they’ll use PTAs, churches and other resources to get the information out in the coming weeks.

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