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Clark County brings vaccine awareness to Black community as numbers lag behind

Posted at 11:20 PM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-04 03:05:01-04

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A public forum over at the Pearson Community Center was the latest effort from Clark County, as well as Commissioner William McCurdy, to encourage the valley’s Black community to get more vaccinations.

“This is something that’s affecting our community negatively,” said Kyle West, a pastor at OutPour LV. “But we’re here to make sure it affects us positively.”

According to data from the Southern Nevada Health District, 36% of the African American population in Clark County is at least partially vaccinated. That’s about 89,000 out of 245,000 people.

“We’re under 100,000 right now,” said West. “So, our goal is to get those numbers up. We need to get our numbers up in regards to people vaccinated. That way, we can move into a more productive place.”

A large reason for the hesitation is history. Dark chapters such as the abusive Tuskegee Experiment have sewn distrust that is hard to break.

“The history with the government and racial situations—it makes it a little bit more uncomfortable to just trust something that’s brand new,” said Sparkle McCuiston, an infectious disease specialist at Centennial Hills Hospital.

But now it is their voices. And that is what separates this effort from any other.

“You haven’t seen African-American professionals in the community, talking to people in the community, and helping them to make a better decision for themselves,” said Shenakwa Hawkins, a family nurse practitioner with Care with Purpose Medical Center.

“I think when you hit the emotions of what’s happening in the community and what’s happening to people—because a lot of people are just scared,” said McCuiston.

One of the main takeaways has been this: do not let the past prevent you from having a future.

“The way that it’s going to work is by us coming together to get vaccinated, work together, and move with wisdom,” said West. “That’s the point we want to drive: it’s about wisdom.”

And there are plenty of vaccination opportunities coming up:

Richard Steele Boxing Club

  • Saturday, September 4; 12 - 5 p.m.
  • 2475 W Cheyenne Ave #110, North Las Vegas, NV 89032
  • Walk-ins welcome.

Lost in Dreams

  • Saturday, September 4; 6 - 8 p.m.
  • 200 S. 3rd St. Las Vegas, NV 89101
  • Walk-ins welcome.

Nehemiah Ministries Christian Church

  • Sunday, September 5; 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • 3606 N. Rancho Dr. Suite #144, Las Vegas, NV 89130
  • No appointment is necessary.

Vax on the Trax – Nevada Southern Railway Museum

  • Saturday 9/4- Sunday 9/5; 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • 601 Yucca St. Boulder City, NV 89005
  • Walk-ins welcome.

Centennial High School

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • 10200 W Centennial Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89149

Cheyenne High School

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • 3200 W Alexander Rd, North Las Vegas, NV 89032

Desert Pines High School

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • 3800 E Harris Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89110

Sierra Vista High School

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • 8100 W Robindale Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89113

UNLV International Gaming Institute Stan Fulton Building
· Every Sunday - Thursday | 5:30 - 10:30 p.m.
· 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, 89154
· Appointments available. Walk-ins welcome.