April 27, 2021

People of color have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic but remain hesitant when it comes to taking the COVID-19 vaccine. A recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds African Americans and Latinos in the U.S. are less likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine than any other racial or ethnic group.

Efforts are underway to educate both communities across the nation and locally about vaccine safety. Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), a Community Foundation for Northern Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund grantee will host a series of town hall meetings beginning Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. for organizations, local businesses, clients, and citizens in an effort to clear up misinformation about the vaccine and address vaccination hesitancy among communities of color.

 “We will be hosting town halls with medical professionals who can directly speak to the lived experience of black and brown communities by speaking their languages and answering their questions to build a sense of safety and confidence in learning how to overcome the pandemic,” said Jenée Padmore, Project Coordinator, COVID Outreach Campaign, Northern Virginia Family Service.

This hesitation from disenfranchised communities to take the COVID-19 vaccine is rooted in a deep distrust of national institutions and memories of former public health scandals such as the Tuskegee experiment that dates back decades.

“The reality that fears may be related to government distrust, confusion about how vaccinations work, or general reluctance to inject our bodies with anything considered foreign creates challenges for specific populations to adhere to getting the vaccine,” said Padmore. “We are here to assist.”

Each week NVFS will also send out messages that will assist local communities to understand the COVID-19 vaccination and support their ability to make informed decisions about getting vaccinated and continuing mitigation efforts.

If you’re interested in partnering with NVFS in this effort to amplify these messages or want details about the upcoming town hall meetings please email Jenée Padmore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject: COVID Messaging Subscriber.