Southern University System encourages minorities to get COVID vaccine with new campaign
BATON ROUGE - As the fight against the novel coronavirus health crisis sheds further light on racial disparities in the health care arena, a number of institutions are taking action to facilitate equal access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
As one such institution, the Southern University System is launching a statewide campaign Friday, March 26 that aims to encourage all racial minority groups to take steps to become vaccinated against COVID-19.
Southern issued a Friday morning news release regarding its decision, stating, "The campaign, “Don’t Wait. Vaccinate!,” is a response to disappointing data that continues to reveal that ethnic minorities, who are disproportionately affected, are not getting vaccinated at a rate large enough to overcome this global pandemic."
Joining Southern are the Southern University Alumni Federation, more than 100 faith-based individuals and associations, as well as civic, fraternal, and social organizations.
A news conference detailing the campaign will be held today at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Meeting Room on the campus of Southern University and A&M College. The news conference will be streamed live at https://youtu.be/3Y-TP4RIRBw.
Ray L. Belton, president-chancellor of the Southern University System, explained the reason for the campaign, stating, “As the only historically Black university system in the country, located right here in Louisiana, it is our obligation to ensure that African-Americans and other ethnic minorities are well informed about the dangers of COVID-19 and the significance of getting vaccinated.”
Southern's Friday news release went on to state that, "The grassroots, research-based campaign will engage Southern University alumni and other stakeholders across all 64 Louisiana parishes. The System also aims to provide resources and content area experts from relevant programs across its five campuses, including Southern Baton Rouge’s College of Nursing and Allied Health."
“We are in a crisis,” said Domoine D. Rutledge, chairman of the Southern University Board of Supervisors. “The pandemic has impacted the lives of thousands of Louisiana residents. Our institution is well equipped to respond to this pandemic. In partnership with our Governor, the Louisiana Department of Health, elected officials, and community leaders, we will beat this pandemic.”
The campaign’s strategies include social media, public events, and advertising to provide factual information about the vaccine, including access.
Upcoming events include:
-March 27, vaccination event with Ochsner Health-Baton Rouge, F.G. Clark Activity Center
-April 10, SU Vax Day, mass vaccination event, nine sites including SU System campuses
-April 17, Bayou Classic education and vaccination event
-May 4, webinar “What’s the Difference? Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Moderna vaccines”
For more information about the campaign and events, please refer to www.sus.edu/vaccinate.
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