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Kern County leaders discuss vaccine hesitancy among communities of color at town hall

Posted at 8:48 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 01:33:53-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As officials see an increase in COVID cases in Kern County, community leaders gathered Friday to share more information with residents who may be hesitant to vaccinate themselves and their families.

Organizers say the goal of the town hall was to clear up any confusion with a focus on easing the nerves of Black and Latino communities when it comes to COVID immunizations.

This as FDA vaccine advisers are set to meet next week. They'll discuss authorizing emergency use of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years.

23ABC spoke with the Superintendent of the Fairfax School District, Dr. Regina Green, who says schools will be key in distributing accurate information to parents who are concerned about the safety of each dose.

"My district as well as many districts across the state of California have resource centers and we hold vaccination and testing clinics regularly," she said. "And so we want to be a hub and we want parents to feel safe and know that we are here to support them and to guide them in any way that they need."

When it comes to the number of children already vaccinated against COVID, state data reports Black and Latino kids have the lowest vaccination rates behind Asian and White populations.

Around 22% of Black kids ages 5 to 11 are fully immunized compared to around 23% of Latinos. Asian children have the highest rate at around 68% with White kids at 29%.