Cape Fear Valley Health opens vaccination clinic in underserved community to target minorities

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cape Fear Valley Health is taking aim at the COVID-19 disparities in minority communities by increasing access to the vaccine. The hospital opened up a vaccination clinic in the heart of the Seabrook community.

At 93 years young, Lawson Snipes has quite the personality.

"I don't have a computer. They didn't have computers when I came along. In fact, they had typewriters. You don't know what a typewriter is yet," said Snipes from his wheelchair.

On Thursday morning, he caught a ride with a friend to E.E. Smith High School to get vaccinated because he can't drive.

While some COVID-19 vaccination clinics require you to register online, this particular clinic accepts walk-ins only.

Officials understand having internet access is a barrier that keeps those in underserved communities -- like Snipes -- from getting vaccinated.

"I would not make it. I'd have to hang around until the virus get me," said Snipes. "Right now it don't look like no end in sight. We just now getting a little help with these shots and hope they work."

The hospital partnered up with Cumberland County Schools turning the cafeteria into a vaccination clinic. Officials are even working with city transportation to get residents to the site for free.

Dr. Roxie Wells said statewide minorities are being vaccinated at a significantly lower rate.

"Because of the disparities across the state and across the nation really, we still have work to do. We felt it would be very beneficial to bring the clinic here," said Wells.

Over the years, Snipes has had many shots and says this one feels no different. He hopes this one keeps him alive longer.

"I've got a lot of living to do and I'm well into it already," said Snipes.
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