Wyandotte County Church, health leaders partner to address vaccine hesitancy
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Churches across Wyandotte county hosted a vaccine clinic Saturday at the Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ along with local pharmacies and county health leaders.
The event also offered COVID-19 tests and free food thanks to Harvesters Community Food Network.
Church leaders, like Bishop L.F. Thuston of the Kansas East Diocese of Church of God of Christ, said religious leaders want people in the County to feel at ease going to a vaccine clinic.
“This has been a horrendous year for our whole community, particularly this part of the community has been disproportionately not included in the come back from the COVID-19 virus,” Thuston said.
With vaccine hesitancy high in the county, Thuston knows he and other church leaders have a voice in the community, and they hope people will listen.
“We knew that if we came to our community and brought them the vaccine and make this a glorious day, and make this about living and not about dying, and have a holistic approach, this would benefit our community,” Thuston said.
Leaders say education and access are key to getting more shots in arms. Their work on Saturday’s clinic pays off when people like Theo Bass decide to get a shot.
“I wasn’t quite sure about it, and then my brother and his wife and my little nephew got it so I figured if my little nephew and my big brother and his wife got it, it’s time for me to get it too,” Bass said.
Church leaders say events like Saturday’s are about much more than just vaccines.
“You know sometimes people just need to know that you care, they need to know that their church cares, that their elected officials care,” Thuston said.
While people in minority groups in the county continue to face barriers getting vaccines such as access and transportation, Thuston said churches will continue organizing clinics and providing education.
“Today we believe that we’ve been a blessing to our community,” Thuston said.