Health experts work to vaccinate Ohio’s Black communities

Posted Monday May 03, 2021

Not enough African Americans are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, health experts said. While 38% of Ohioans have started the vaccination process, just 22% have started it in the Black community, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

But health experts in Cincinnati are trying to improve those numbers. The Center for Closing the Health Gap and the Cincinnati Medical Association distributed an open letter to the Black community that outlines the safety aspects of the vaccines and encourages residents to get their doses.

The letter is read at monthly virtual town hall meetings, which are hosted on the Center for Closing the Health Gap’s Facebook page.

Dr. Anisa Shomo, the president of the Cincinnati Medical Association and a family physician at UC Health, said the organizations hope to combat misinformation spread through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

“One of the reasons I went into medicine was to address health disparities,” Shomo said. “I wanted to be a physician since I was at least 9-years-old. I just wanted to see people in our communities just have better health status.”

She even has her own platform, called “Dr. Shomo Knows” where she addresses questions and breaks down stereotypes and myths in medicine.

Center for Closing the Health Gap is hosting a large-scale vaccination site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Cincinnati Music Hall in Washington Park. It will also host another town hall on its Facebook page at 4 p.m. Saturday.


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