TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M University served a greater purpose on Saturday; bringing health and wellness resources to African Americans on Tallahassee's Southside.
The Stay Well Health Fair was a team effort with city leaders, community health organizations and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority incorporated.
Cobb Health Institute played a big role in the event as well.
The group of researchers work to make sure black communities have proper healthcare resources.
A major goal for the even was to get people vaccinated or boosted.
Dr. Andrea Friall is the chief medical officer at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.
She's seen how cases have shot back up and wants to make sure people understand the importance of being vaccinated.
"We are in the red in Tallahassee, Leon County with the amount of covid in the community," said Dr. Andrea Friall.
Fraill said Tallahassee has many neighborhoods with a high vulnerable population.
"If you are unvaccinated you still have a 29% more chance of death compared to someone that is fully vaccinated with their boosters," said Dr. Friall.
According to the CDC, 78% of the nations population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Here in Leon County, health professionals are pushing to get the African American community vaccinated.
According to research from the Kaiser Foundation, which focuses on national health issues, in Florida only 45% of African Americans have received at least one dose of the the vaccine, that's 18% lower than the white population.
Pamela Johnson is one of the event organizers.
She said having the fair on FAMUs campus is bringing resources directly where it's needed.
"We wanted it for ease of access, ease to get in ease to get out," said Pamela Johnson.
While the Covid-19 vaccine has been available since 2021, according to the CDC, African American communities are more hesitant.
For reasons including
- A lack of trust in health professionals.
- Gaps in healthcare access.
- And Lack of education on covid 19.
Johnson said that's why having events like the stay well fair is so needed.
"This is a proactive way to not only protect our citizens but protect our community," said Johnson.
At the Stay Well Health fair every child that received a dose of the covid 19 vaccine also received a back to school back pack.
There were also screenings for hypertension.
The American Heart Association said that high blood pressure is the highest in African Americans compared to any other race.