At the Temple of Praise, a predominantly black church in southeast Washington, DC, clergy, church volunteers, and local doctors and pharmacists worked to immunize more than 4,000 people, many in the congregation. The church still uses its weekly Moderna shooting allowance, with lines winding through the parking lot each week leading to portable booths used for vaccinations.
Church leaders have been vaccinated from the pulpit this year, which has sparked renewed interest, said Bishop Glen A. Staples. But he and other clergymen said after Sunday services this month that for those now receiving the vaccine, Covid-19 was a component of a larger public health crisis.
“It’s not just about getting shot,” he says. “It’s about developing faith and trust in the system.”
Dr. Jehan El-Bayoumi, professor of medicine at George Washington University and founder of the Rodham Institute, an organization working on health equity issues in Washington, has advised the church and its community. She said this phase of the vaccination campaign required a shift from the “locus of power” to sites like the church, where those vaccinated were guaranteed to be treated with patience and empathy for their overall health.
Dr Stanford said clients at his vaccination sites with limited access to healthcare sometimes seek help for medical issues unrelated to Covid-19.
Dr El-Bayoumi, who goes by Gigi, said simple handy tools – free Uber rides to a vaccination site or blood pressure cuffs given to vaccinated people – were enough to attract some of those seeking to get them. vaccinate in Washington. The Temple of Praise serves tens of thousands of meals each week to community members, including those who come for the vaccine.
“The federal government is catching up with what works,” she said. “People trust their spiritual leaders more than doctors and government leaders.”
Scenes like Washington and Philadelphia unfolded across the country, with a sweep that looks like a vote. In southwest Florida, Detroit, New Orleans and Kansas City, teams have been going door-to-door to explain the vaccines and how to get them and even administer them at home.