Churches to host vaccination clinics across DC region to help boost confidence

There are calls for the faith-based community to help in spreading the word on getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Monday, D.C. leaders announced they'll be launching a pilot program wherein churches will host vaccine clinics as a way to offer more access to minority communities and areas hardest hit by the virus. 

READ MORE: The Vaccine Divide: FOX 5 discusses race in vaccine distribution with area health leaders

The city will host the first clinics for pre-registered residents 65 and older in Wards 5,7 and 8 at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church.  

In Maryland, Reid Temple AME is partnering up with Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center to also start a coronavirus vaccination clinic as early as Saturday in Prince Georges County.

The clinic is open to the public via registration only. There will be more information released Friday morning at Reid Temple AME Church. 

READ MORE: Race disparity in DC region’s early vaccine rollout data

FOX 5's Shirin Rajaee spoke with Dr. Shakina Rawlings, pastor of Kingdom Fellowship Church in Alexandria, Virginia, Monday. 

"I believe we as the church have a responsibility that goes beyond just the spiritual, but also the natural as well and health is a big part of that. Our African American community suffers from so much, so we have the responsibility to teach our people, to show them the way, to show them that if we can do it, you can do it too," said Dr. Rawlings. 

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Rawlings says they're working on setting up a panel discussion with medical experts for their congregation. She believes getting the faith-based community involved in boosting vaccine confidence will make a big difference in seeing more minority community members get vaccinated.

"I believe those partnerships will be the driving force to help the numbers go up in the african american community," she said.