Woman Partners With North Texas Churches to Reach People Hesitant to Get Vaccinated

Anita Basavaraju is working to educate people and get them safely vaccinated against COVID-19

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A North Texas woman is working to tackle COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy in the African American community. 

Anita Basavaraju, 23, said getting doses of the vaccine from the state has presented a challenge at the Allergy Rheumatology Immunology Associates of North Texas, where she works as an infection control coordinator.

“It’s a little difficult getting certain allocations if you’re a smaller place,” she said.

After a few weeks of waiting, the clinic was finally allocated doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

On Saturday, 110 people got the single-dose vaccination after Basavaraju reached out to partner with Antioch Christian Church in Irving, Ben Washington Baptist Church and the Greater Ideal Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas.

Nero and Tanya Foster and their daughter Porsche Lane all got vaccinated Saturday. 

“One of my reasons for going ahead and getting the shot was the opening of the state,” Nero Foster said.   

The family signed up at their church, Antioch Christian. 

“I felt more confident because our church did offer it," Tanya Foster said. "I feel like because it came from them, I felt a little more confident about it."

Porsche Lane said she and her parents were hesitant at first, but working in the healthcare field helped changed her mind. 

“I would encourage anyone in the Black community if you’re unsure please just do your research, ask people who can answer the hard questions for you, and get the vaccine if you can,” Lane said.  

Basavaraju said she hopes to expand to go to churches and provide offsite clinics to better reach the elderly and people who are hesitant to get vaccinated. 

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