New campaign to combat COVID vaccine hesitancy in African Americans in St. Louis

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is launching a new public education campaign focusing on vaccine hesitancy in the African American community.

The “All-In” campaign is in partnership with the National Urban League, the National Action Network, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“The All-In campaign hopes to provide more insight so that 30% of St. Louis residents that need to be equipped with all of the information and get that information, so they can make their best personal choice,” said Michael McMillian, Urban League CEO.

The speakers at Tuesday’s event say getting vaccinated is a personal decision and the goal is to inform people, not pressure them. 

“We recognize there is a great deal of hesitancy and we know without an increase in vaccinations, all of our efforts to protect families and keep the most vulnerable people in our community will not be successful,” McMillian said.

Vaccine hesitancy is plaguing certain communities across the country. It’s no different in the St. Louis region.

The recent uptick in cases across Missouri because of the Delta variant is also raising concerns.

“We know that cases are rising and hospitalizations are rising,” said Dr. Alex Garza, head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force.

Leaders who spoke at the initiative hope getting an increased social media push will encourage people to get the vaccine.

“Our primary focus is making sure individuals are able to make an informed decision and we can only do that by engaging them in ways that are culturally and linguistically appropriate,” said St. Louis Health Director Dr. Frederick Echols.

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