Creighton University to Educate Minority Communities About the Vaccine

March 23, 2021, 4:09 p.m. ·

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Dr. Sade Kosoko-Lasaki, Associate Vice President for Health Sciences for Creighton University. (Photo courtesy of Creighton University)

The Douglas County Health Department has awarded Creighton University a second $250,000 grant to promote COVID-19 vaccinations in Omaha's minority communities. The grant will be primarily focused on vaccine education.

Through a train the trainer approach, around 60 community health advocates in North and South Omaha's Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities will be educated about the vaccine during an 8-week program. Then they, in turn, will educate the rest of their communities.

Director of Creighton's Health Sciences-Multicultural and Community Affairs Department, Dr. Sade Kosoko-Lasaki, said because of negative historical experiences, some members of minority communities can be wary of the vaccinations. Training and educating health advocates about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and health information privacy laws will be key to the effort's success in these communities.

"The aim is to encourage them and educate them about the vaccine. Also, people do not understand why it was a very rapid acceptance by the FDA and the CDC," Kosoko-Lasaki said.

After the education component is done, Dr. Kosoko-Laski said Omaha needs to schedule more vaccination clinics in minority areas.

"Now people will say where do I go? Where in my community can I go? So we need to have more areas in the community where the vaccine is dispensed," she said.

To Kosoko-Laski, education is the key. She said through education, narratives about the vaccine can be changed.