Newark faith leaders roll up their sleeves against COVID-19


NEWARK — The COVID-19 vaccine was the word being preached at Willing Heart Community Care Center in Newark on Monday, as faith leaders from several local churches were vaccinated.

It was part of a kickoff for what will be New Jersey’s first and largest faith based vaccination center opening in the city this week.

The primary goal is to increase the rate of vaccinations within the Black community, which have been lagging significantly behind statewide.

African Americans account for just under 4% of those already vaccinated.

“We can do more than sing to people amen, we can also save people when it comes to their health and wellness,” said Rev. Dr. David Jefferson Sr. of Metropolitan Baptist Church.

The vaccination site is a collaborative effort with community leaders and the Choose Healthy Life Black clergy action plan — a nationwide initiative involving 50 churches in five cities that is focused on addressing COVID-19 and other health disparities in the Black community.

Combating misinformation on the vaccine, whether it be coming from social media or word of mouth, is what faith leaders say they are going to zero in on in the next couple of weeks with a campaign that will involve knocking on doors and using various social media platforms to get their message out.

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