If you have been looking for a vaccine, your prayers have been answered.

A new pop-up vaccination site will open on Saturday, April 24th, in the Outer Mission at the San Francisco Christian Center at 5845 Mission Street, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is the fifth vaccination popup organized by the UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Malcolm John, who leads the Black Health Initiative and HIV / AID program; and Jonathan Butler, an ordained minister and social epidemiologist serving on the UCSF faculty.

The popup focuses on Black and Latinx residents, although it’s not exclusive to them. This design is intended to address the disproportionate death rates of these populations during the pandemic, John said.

John, also an ordained minister and social epidemiologist, said 150 Moderna shots will go into the arms of parishioners. There are currently at least 50 doses to be won and all are dates for the first dose. Residents can apply for one tomorrow at the walk-up event or online.

In San Francisco, black residents account for 7.7 percent of Covid-19 deaths, but only 5 percent of the population. Latinos continue to represent the most cases at 20.2 percent of the cases, while they make up 15.2 percent of the population.

These differences are also reflected in the city’s vaccination rates.

In total, about 514,281 San Franciscans received over 16 – or 67 percent of them – at least one dose.

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So far, around 3.6 percent of those who have received one identify as black, 12.4 percent as Latinx, 35 percent as Asian, and 36 percent as white. Black residents make up 4.9 percent of the population 16 years and older, and Latinx residents make up 14 percent of the population 16 and older. Asian residents make up 35 percent of the population aged 16 and over, and white residents make up 41 percent of the population aged 16 and over.

The establishment of a vaccination station in a church is intended, said Butler. Research suggests that the greatest motivator for a person to get vaccinated is to know someone who has successfully received it, and churches continue to be places that the Black and Latinx communities trust and visit frequently. The Black Church is the “bedrock of the African American community” and has been offering Covid-19 tests and food bags since day 1, Butler said.

“It gives them intimacy and humanity, and they are seen and cared for compared to a bigger place where they are just vaccinated,” added Butler.

Oakland’s neighborhood coalition, Umoja Health, in partnership with UCSF doctors, has similarly used historically black churches in Oakland to gain access to Covid-19 testing and vaccines in recent months.

Saturday’s event at the San Francisco Christian Center isn’t just about immunizing underserved residents, however. It also aims to allay residents’ fears about the safety of vaccines and combat misinformation. For example, local residents asked John if a chip would be inserted into their arms. Of course, he told them, don’t.

The skepticism is not unfounded. Many black residents, John said, also remember a time when health facilities abandoned their community, leading some to be skeptical of the effectiveness or intent of these health care providers. A recent investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine caused a rare blood clot didn’t help much either, he said. (The Food and Drug Administration lifted its hiatus on Friday, stating the single-shot vaccine is safe for people age 18 and older.)

Except for some who may be concerned, John said that dozens of Black and Latinx residents are excited to get a shot. “Still the majority of every community is interested in getting vaccinated,” said John, referring to a December 2020 UCLA Fielding School of Public Health survey of 88 percent of Asians, 82.7 percent of white residents , 79.2 percent of Latinx and 58 percent of those reported were Black residents wanted the vaccine.

And his main goal for those on the fence is not necessarily to convince them to take the shot (although this is his specific medical opinion) but to answer questions and allay fears about it.

“Of course there are still questions in the black community based on our experience,” said John. “I’m here to demystify all myths so that you can make a decision about power and strength. If you say after the interview: “I want to wait and see that more questions are answered later”, that’s fine. ”

In these conversations, he reminds people that the likelihood of getting sick from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less than the likelihood that a woman will develop blood clots after using contraception – or most importantly, that she will contract Covid- 19 dies. He also emphasizes why he wanted to get vaccinated – that the value clearly outweighs the risks.

“I want to visit my parents in Trinidad when they are retired,” said John. “And I want a birthday party. We have great parties. “

Visit the pop-up tomorrow, Saturday, April 24th, at the San Francisco Christian Center on 5845 Mission Street, 10am to 1pm. Or register via https://rb.gy/5FFMQR.

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