DETROIT – Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist released details about Michigan’s Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities’ new plan to reduce hesitancy about getting vaccinated.
He said trust is key and it starts with getting people connected to a physician and making regular doctor visits.
Gilchrist said they anticipated being in this situation and a year after the commission started, there’s a new focus and a new outreach.
“If you want to end this pandemic and you want to be safe, this is the choice that we really all need to make,” Gilchrist said. “I think that everyone is one conversation away from making that choice to get vaccinated.”
The Protect Michigan Commission spent a lot of time and resources on ensuring Michiganders got tested for COVID, but now they are going out and getting vaccinated, especially since the demand has waned.
“We need to be everywhere that people are, letting them know how important this choice is and they have the power to make it and that if they make this choice it can end this pandemic on their own terms,” Gilchrist said.
Many Detroiters have cited the Tuskegee Experiment as a reason they aren’t interested in getting vaccinated.
“Tuskegee did happen but there are other questions too and we have to answer all of those questions,” Gilchrist said.
More than anything, Gilchrist said he believes word-of-mouth testimonials are what will make the difference.
“I got my vaccine this past Saturday at a church on the west side of Detroit, a community vaccination site at Greater Grace,” Gilchrist said. “It was great to see a church full of Black Detroiters going there to get vaccinated. I think all of us need to show that when you got vaccine, you should talk about your experience.”
Gilchrist said the commission was able to help provide Michiganders pathways to services they otherwise didn’t know about and those connections provided a level of trust that can help in the vaccination effort.