Black Church's 'Street Team' Encourages Connecticut Residents to Get Vaccinated
Connecticut, a historically black churches, sending teenagers door to door over the summer to encourage residents to get the covid vaccine. Connecticut has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. But it is a very different story in the town of Waterbury. Here's Ali Oshinsky from Connecticut Public radio. Police. Taylor is hitting 10,000 steps a day. A lot of them on hills and up to front doors to ask crime, ma'am, Are you interested in taking the Covid 19 vaccine? This person already got hurt. Oh, great. So I think we left the information Flyer. Yeah, right at your door. So if you do know anyone who's not vaccinated you can share with them. Thank you. Taylor is 15 and she's part of the Grace Baptist Church Street team. Every weekday morning, she and seven other teens pair up and walk around Waterbury, knocking on doors to have conversations like that one. I'll try to do you know my little bit what we do have people back at the church that will, you know, walk them through. There were ease. The process starts with the street team. Residents get a knock and a flyer. The teens were trained to ask a few questions and take down a phone number. If there's interest someone from a phone bank can call later to arrange an in home shot or transportation to a vaccine clinic. Grace Baptist pays the teens $15 an hour with funds from a state vaccine equity program. The pastor Christopher Reese, says this church is trying to make it as easy as possible for Waterbury residents to get their shot. Especially in black communities. My church, I think, is maybe 90% vaccinated. Why? Because their leader, their pastor has been pushing it now races trying to be that leader beyond his congregation. Connecticut ranks near the top for the percentage of residents that are fully vaccinated. But Waterbury lags behind the numbers are especially low among the city's black residents. Just around a third are fully immunized.