Biden Administration Launches Initiative With Black-Owned Barbershops and Hair Salons to Encourage Coronavirus Vaccination

It’s an effort to expand access to coronavirus vaccines: provide shots at the barbershop.

As part of a White House initiative, the National Association of County and City Health Officials is planning to help train Black-owned barbershops and hair salons to provide accurate vaccination information and even provide vaccines where possible, Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of NACCHO, told CNN on Wednesday.

The Biden administration said Wednesday it is teaming up with several organizations — the Black Coalition Against COVID, the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity and the SheaMoisture company — to launch an initiative called “Shots at the Shop” to engage Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons nationwide in efforts to promote vaccine education and outreach on a local level.

The White House said throughout the month of June, each participating shop will help share information about vaccines with customers, display educational materials, and some will even host on-site vaccination events in partnership with local providers.

Months into the nation’s vaccine rollout, federal data have shown that Black Americans’ COVID-19 vaccination rates are still lagging behind those of other groups.

“The role that NACCHO’s going to play is trying to match barbershops and beauty shops with local health departments, so that we can forge a relationship there and figure out if any of these business locations can also become vaccination sites or what it would take for that to happen,” Freeman said.

“In partnership, health departments may be able to work with these groups to provide health education to customers around vaccination or even supply a public health nurse,” she added. “Local health departments stand ready to work in partnership to leverage these critical trusted community members to address vaccine education, talk about any hesitancy or lack of information, and help facilitate getting vaccinations or clinics to these businesses.”

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