While overall COVID-19 vaccination rates for Asian-Americans are relatively high in Ohio, Asian-American and Pacifc Island (AAPI) refugees and immigrants in Northeast Ohio – many who don’t speak English – have had to negotiate unique cultural and language barriers on their road to getting vaccinated.
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The wider availability of Covid-19 vaccines in recent weeks has many Clevelanders weighing whether to get the shots. Cleveland Documenters interviewed more than 40 friends, family members, neighbors and residents from across the city over the past several weeks to understand their views, which in some cases were still evolving.
Neighbor Up, an offshoot of the Cleveland organization Neighborhood Connections, is working hard to increase equity and access to Covid-19 vaccine appointments. With the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution, Cleveland organizations are partnering and actively revising their initiative to continue serving Clevelanders.
Black churches in Cleveland have played host to regular vaccination sites since February, through an initiative started by the Greater Cleveland Congregations’ (GCC) interfaith coalition. They’re trying to address a serious problem: Vaccinations for Black residents in Cuyahoga County have consistently lagged behind vaccinations for white residents.
An estimated 28% of American healthcare workers said they will “wait and see” before getting the vaccine, despite working on the frontlines. While this hesitancy rate is slightly lower than that of non-healthcare essential workers, it’s significant because 80% of Americans said they would seek advice from healthcare providers when deciding whether or not to get vaccinated.
Many of the country’s deadliest Covid-19 outbreaks have been in prisons and jails, where social distancing is often impossible and health is generally poor. Experts and advocates have called for aggressive and early vaccination campaigns in prisons. But many prisoners distrust prison medical staff, putting the drive for vaccinations in jeopardy.