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Voorhees College press release-COVID-19 vaccine challenge

Denmark, S.C.- Voorhees College joins in the fight with public health officials to help stop the spread of
the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic by encouraging African Americans to get vaccinated. Additionally,
Interim President Dr. Ronnie Hopkins challenges other Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(HBCUs) to communicate to African Americans in their communities the importance of getting vaccinated.
As an institution, Voorhees recently hosted a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, where the first dose of the
Moderna vaccine was administered to 263 individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, only 8% of African Americans have received it least one dose of COVID-19 vaccinations on a national level. According to the CDC, with new variants of Coronavirus reaching the United States, the mutations in the virus genome alter the characteristics and cause the virus to act differently in ways that are significant to public health. Hopkins has issued a challenge to the presidents and chancellors of other HBCUs to encourage the African American communities in their area to get vaccinated. He recently released a video titled “Take the Shot,” in which he, joined by the college nurse, men’s basketball player, and men’s head basketball coach, provides statistics of the pandemic globally and mentions how the virus has affected communities of African Americans and people of color. Hopkins said that as an institution that educates and serves a diverse community of people, it is vital that we respond immediately when something affects our students’ well-being. “HBCUs understand and provide the necessities of its underserved populations and embrace that opportunity. We have the same mission to educate and prepare our students to become change agents that lead in this competitive world. We provide the foundation, and if the vaccinations could mean the difference between achieving this goal and failing, why not take the latter stance.” Nurse Suzanne Williams, director of health services, said racial and ethnic minority groups have faced many health disparities due to inadequate healthcare access, and COVID-19 is no different. “They experience higher levels of hospitalization and death due to the disparities. We know prevalent, underlying health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure also contribute to the high number in African Americans and other ethnicities of color having a higher rate of hospitalization and death,” Williams said. She added, “Voorhees College is proud to be a host vaccination clinic to help ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination is available in our rural community, making it a great health benefit for everyone in the fight. against COVID-19. We encourage everyone to protect their family and friends by taking the shot and becoming fully vaccinated.”
To view the “Take the Shot Video,” please visit us on our YouTube page @voorheescollege1897. For more
information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu.