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RWJBarnabas Health Hosts Webinar "What the Black Community Needs to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine"

By rlsmetro on

On Monday, March 15th, RWJBarnabas Health’s Northern Facilities will host a webinar featuring a panel of experts who will discuss the fears and hesitations within the Black community surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, addressing specific concerns with science-based information. 

Hosted by Toni Yates, Anchor and New Jersey News Reporter for WABC-TV, the webinar will take place from 6 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

The panel will feature Donald Beggs, MD, Infection Prevention, Clara Maass Medical Center; Omar Bey, MD, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Stephen Ford, MD, Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway; Marilyn McArthur, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Saint Barnabas Medical Center; Schubert Perotte, MD, Emergency Medicine, Jersey City Medical Center; and Arnold Williams, MD, Psychiatry, Behavioral Health Center.

According to the state, Black residents, although only making up 14 percent of the state’s population, accounted for nearly 26 percent of diagnosed COVID-19 cases and 22 percent of fatalities. 

Despite the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus, the state reports that only 4% of shots administered have gone to Black residents, while 55% have gone to white residents.

“RWJBarnabas Health acknowledges that the medical community across the United States has failed to adequately address inequities that continue to cause nationwide disparities in healthcare delivery and outcomes,” DeAnna Minus-Vincent, MPA, Senior Vice President, Chief Social Integration & Health Equity Strategist, RWJBarnabas Health, said.

“However, as a system that is committed to dismantling racism, we are intentionally partnering with communities of color to build trust, foster equity and improve health.”   The webinar is free and open to all. Those interested in attending can register by clicking here. The webinar will feature a 15-minute Q&A segment with the panelist. Attendees are invited to send in their questions ahead of time to nbivirtualcommunity@rwjbh.org.

“It is our hope that Black community members will join the webinar and will reassured that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for people of color, especially Black communities that are disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Clinical trials of the vaccine included racially diverse populations in order to ensure safety,” Ms. Minus-Vincent said. “Vaccination is about all of us. The COVID-19 vaccine will prevent serious illness and death, and it is the key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic."