Some NC HBCUs to become mass COVID-19 vaccination sites later this month

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The State Health Department released a new promo of North Carolina A&T State University's Chancellor Harold Martin and his wife, Davida. encouraging ethnic minorities to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We must be more trusting and engaging and recognize the importance of the vaccine," said Chancellor Harold Martin.

"It didn't even hurt," Davida Martin said. "I didn't even feel it."

The video comes after the state announced a partnership with most of North Carolina's Historically Black Colleges & Universities and minority-serving institutions becoming mass vaccination sites back in January.
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More ultra-cold freezers are on the way to help store the COVID-19 vaccine, more specifically, historically minority-serving universities around the state including NCCU and FSU.

Later this month, historically minority-serving institutions in the UNC System -- including Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina A&T University, UNC Pembroke and Winston-Salem State University -- received mobile freezers back in January that are capable of safely storing and moving COVID-19 vaccine vials. The universities plan to vaccinate thousands of people based on appointments.

State leaders, HBCUs, and the UNC system are meeting weekly about the logistics.

Dr. Aditi Mallick, the director of the state's COVID-19 response command center, says the partnership will include using community-based groups and churches to sign people up electronically, and the old school way, by going door-to-door.
"It's so critical that people have the opportunity to hear from people they trust and people they know in communities they are part of," said Dr. Mallick.

Medical distrust is real, as well as the inequities Black people face in healthcare access and treatment. Which is why Black leaders are stepping forward to get the vaccine publicly.

On Thursday, Durham city councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton received his first shot at Durham County Health Department. He is hoping it will encourage his community to get the shot when it's their turn.

"I feel great. I feel great," Middleton told ABC11.

The challenge: the state is only getting about 150,000 doses a week. The vaccine count is not meeting the demand.

"That really remains our biggest limitation right now is access and supply," said Dr. Mallick. "Our hope is that as additional vaccine supply comes on board we can look to expanding out to more sites."

The state is talking to other HBCUs that want to become mass vaccine sites.

We will let you know as soon as NC A&T and UNC Pembroke announce the dates of their vaccination events and how you can sign up for the shot.
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