Cedar Rapids NAACP working with Linn County Public Health to hold two vaccine clinics next week (Updated)

Navy Seaman Milan Torres prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Dec. 14, 2020. — Lisa Ferdinando/Department of Defense

Update: Linn County Public Health announced on Friday the times for the two vaccine clinics. The clinic on Tuesday, April 6, will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The clinic on Saturday, April 10, will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Instead of receiving the two-dose Moderna vaccine as originally announced, individuals will receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Cedar Rapids NAACP is partnering with Linn County Public Health to hold two COVID-19 vaccine clinics next week in an effort to get more people of color vaccinated.

The first vaccine clinic will be on Tuesday, April 6, and the second will be on Saturday, April 10. Both clinics will be at the Roc Center, 1202 10th Street SE.

According to data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, Black Iowans, who make up 4 percent of the state’s population, only account for 1 percent of the people who have been vaccinated.

The situation is the same in other states. The New York Times reported earlier this month “the vaccination rate for Black people in the United States is half that of white people.” The Times looked at race and ethnicity data in 38 states, including Iowa, and found disparities in all the states.

Screengrab of chart from New York Times article “Pandemic’s Racial Disparities Persist in Vaccine Rollout.”

Some obstacles to vaccine access include not having internet access, work schedules that aren’t flexible enough to take any available openings and a lack of reliable transportation.

University of Iowa associate professor of internal medicine Aaron Scherer told KCRG that misinformation is also playing a role in the vaccine disparity with anti-vaccine groups spreading false information to people of color on social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

Cedar Rapids NAACP President Dedric Doolin is hoping to get more than 100 people vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine during the clinics. The Moderna vaccine requires a second shot 28 days after the first.

Doolin told KCRG individuals will need to sign a consent form and will receive information about potential side effects and other information about the vaccine. The organization is working with LCPH to get rides for people, as well as interpreters.

Individuals who want to sign up for the vaccine clinic can contact Doolin by calling or texting at 319-560-0482.