Dallas minority neighborhoods getting free rides to get vaccinated

Some Dallas minority neighborhoods are getting free rides to Fair Park to get vaccinated.

The help is happening as researchers warn we must do all we can to get past concerns about vaccine safety in communities of color.

The call to get more people vaccinated in minority communities is being underscored. Some health professionals say COVID-19 across Black communities has caused a state of emergency.

Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath is sounding an urgent alarm for Blacks to get vaccinated. The doctor is president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, which represents companies making the protections against COVID-19.

"The numbers are shocking and striking," she said. "We are seeing African Americans die at three times the rate of white Americans from COVID. And so this is a state of emergency for the African American community.

Dr. McMurry-Heath says Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been put through more scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration than almost any other and are safe and effective for everyone.

"They had to have high levels of minority participation in their clinical trials," she said. "And they passed the test showing that there were not just very effective in stopping COVID, but also very safe in all of the different types of participants that were enrolled in those trials."

Betty Cofield is one of the many in Pleasant Grove going to get shots and then taken by charter bus to Fair Park for vaccinations.    

"It’s very helpful that it comes to our communities because lots of times our communities get left behind," she said. "So this is very helpful for the black area."

"It’s a big difference," said Glenn Smith. "I would have to drive and I’m having some problems with my legs. So it really helps me by them providing a bus."

"It’s so important that we return to normal and our kids go back to school," said Dr. McMurry-Heath. "And we really have a chance for our community to economically recover, and that can only happen when we're all vaccinated."

Doctors say the best way to beat COVID-19 is get a shot, and doctors say get the shot you can as soon as you can.