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KTRK-TV Houston Hosts Townhalls Aimed at Hispanic and Black Communities

Topic: Vaccine Education
Posted on 1/28/2021

ABC-owned KTRK-TV Houston, Texas, hosted a two-night townhall on the COVID-19 vaccine and infection rate focused on addressing concerns in the Hispanic and Black communities. The CDC says Black and Latinx Americans are nearly three times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications than whites. The first night was hosted by Anchor Mayra Moreno on January 27, and discussed how hesitation about vaccination, resistance to mask wearing or social distancing and fear of seeking medical attention in underserved communities can lead to higher infection rates and deaths. "We come from a culture where, typically, we donít like to ask for help," said Dr. Laura Murillo, president of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "I cannot begin to tell you how many conversations I have had personally trying to convince people to pay attention to the facts, the science."

The second night was hosted by Anchor Chauncy Glover and local leaders warned that infections and hospitalizations in the Black community are likely to rise unless hesitation about the vaccine is addressed soon. "The legacy of mistrust goes back many, many years, and itís not just in medicine but in other areas," said Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson Minter, health and human services director of Fort Bend County. "But I think the really important thing to consider is that we donít want that legacy to then create a new legacy of more illness." Minter also addressed how the name ďOperation Warp SpeedĒ can lead to questions about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine and discussed how the vaccine had been researched and in development since 2002. "We did not want to be in the position of pushing out a vaccine that we didnít have confidence in, and I can tell you, we all have confidence in this one," Minter said. "All of us have rolled up our sleeves. We did our homework, and by about July, we were ready, we felt like things were good, and we felt like not only could we take it, but we could promote it."

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