DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Black Lives Matter Dayton Organization has created their own initiative called “Shot for Life”, they say there are low vaccination rates among the black community due to myths on social media and more.
“Right now from the latest data I could find, about 36.9-percent of black Ohioans have been vaccinated,” said Chief Medical Officer Atrium Medical Center Dr. Andre Harris.
An alarmingly low number, according to Black Lives Matter Dayton. They say under 40-percent of black Ohioans have been vaccinated which could be due to vaccine hesitancy or myths on social media.
Some popular myths circulating the internet include the vaccine can alter your DNA, contain microchips or may cause infertility.
“The last one I’ve heard is a pretty big one, is that it’s not safe to receive the vaccine if you’re pregnant,” said Dr. Harris. “I know this is a personal decision and as an OBGYN is a personal area for me because pregnant women that get the virus or any respiratory virus has much worse outcomes than anyone else.”
BLM Dayton says ages 25-to-29 have the highest covid case rate in the area and are urging younger black Ohioans to get their shot for life.
“They are now at high risk with the delta virus which wasn’t the first case with COVID-19,” said Dr. Kimberly Bethel at Trotwood Physicians Center. “There are other variants that are very popular in this area, COVID-OC43 and NL63, it’s more than just one we have to fight all of them.”
However with kids returning to school, parents may have extra concerns.
“ICU’s in hospital beds and pediatric facilities are filling up as well, that did not happen with the earlier variants,” said Pediatric Specialist Dr. Alonzo Patterson.
Only 12 years and above are eligible to receive their dose, so local pediatricians are encouraging children to wear a mask regardless of their school’s decision.
“I’m recommending all parents to have their child wear a mask whether their school mandates it or not,” said Patterson. “I’m tired of the politics behind wearing a mask, who says you can wear one or who makes you wear one. I want parents to take responsibility and protect their children.”
The City of Dayton’s businesses and restaurants were significantly hit by the pandemic, so BLM Dayton is asking for the public’s assistance to encourage others to get vaccinated.
“Dayton is a great community, we want to see everyone do well and we don’t want to go back into the dark ages of what we were dealing with in the fall and winter last year,” said Dr. Harris. “Our encouragement is if you haven’t been vaccinated, you can get vaccinated just about anywhere.”
At this time, the coronavirus dashboard shows just over half of the state has started the vaccination process.