Douglas County Health makes push to get COVID-19 vaccine to minorities

Stable Gray is one of several organizations working with the health department to help spread the vaccine message.
Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The vaccination push is on in North Omaha with the Douglas County Health Department running a handful of mass clinics over the weekend aimed at making the shot more available to minority populations.

“It helps protect other people around you from getting the virus, and it also gives you peace of mind that you have less of a chance of becoming severely ill if you do get the virus,” said Dominique Johnson-Myers, who was standing in line to get the shot at Omaha North High Sunday afternoon, along with her mother, a teacher in North Omaha, who already received the shot.

“Moderna is what I got through Kohll’s,” she said. “And I had no side-effects except a sore arm at the site.”

It’s experiences like that those on the ground want to amplify, in hopes of doing away with some of the mistrust and misinformation.

“The main thing is just education and providing awareness so people can feel good about the decision they’re making,” said Teddy Young, president of Stable Gray, one of several organizations working with the health department to help spread the vaccine message.

“That’s the question, right? That’s what people want to know,” said Young. “ ‘Did you get vaccinated? Are you getting vaccinated?’ That’s the hot question right now.”

Those types of questions are opening up the conversation, Young said.

“There are those that aren’t quite ready, right? They have questions, and we welcome those questions, and we want to answer those questions.”

And as more in the Black community get the shot, Young believes the message will keep spreading.

“Stories you know from people that people know, that people can identify with, just sharing their experience — that’s it. You know you can’t deny someone’s experience,” Young said.

As for Dominique, she’s ready to share her message. “I can definitely understand the hesitancy, but again it’s for the betterment of everyone they come in contact with,” she said. Her mother also urging people to get the shot. “I really do encourage anyone of color of all ages who are able to get it, to please get vaccinated.”

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