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National push to vaccinate communities of color includes barbershops, hair salons, former Tuskegee mayor

‘Shots at the shop:’ Biden calls on Black-owned barbershops to increase vaccinations.
‘Shots at the shop:’ Biden calls on Black-owned barbershops to increase vaccinations.(WFIE)
Published: Jul. 3, 2021 at 2:10 PM CDT
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TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - The latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health show over 1.8 million Alabamians have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine – almost 37% of the state’s population.

This comes as the Biden Administration announced an effort to get 70% of adults at least a shot by the Fourth of July.

In a push to vaccinate more communities of color, the White House said it partnered with the Black Coalition Against COVID, the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity and SheaMoisture to start “Shots at the Shop.” The campaign encourages vaccine education in Black-owned businesses and is moderated by a former mayor of Tuskegee.

“The barbershops and the hair salons are trusted information centers in the African American community,” former mayor Omar Neal said on the initiative. “We believe that when we give people the proper information, right, then they make good decisions.”

The campaign pairs with hairstylists and barbers to talk vaccine hesitancy, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 8.8% of those fully vaccinated are Black Americans.

“What we do is we equip the barbers and the stylists with the proper information,” he said. “We want people to know that the vaccine is safe and it’s effective.”

Neal said there is a “mini-grant” of $1,000 for participants. The University of Maryland website said a four-hour online Rapid Response Training Program: From Vaccine Hesitancy to Vaccine Confidence is offered.

He said shops can register by emailing hair@umd.edu with “Shots at the Shop” for a link to sign-up. A form is also available on the SheaMoisture website.

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