Advocates Reach Out to Community to Spread Awareness About COVID-19 Vaccine

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While increasing vaccination rates in underserved predominately minority communities is the same goal, the outreach is shifting.

"Now we're going to them. We're going to their apartment complexes," Leslie Armijo said.

Leslie Armijo and other community advocates are teaming up with health clinics and local business owners.

Hosting toy and food drives like this at an apartment complex in West Dallas --Oak Cliff and Cedar Hill offering free haircuts and information in English and Spanish, about COVID-19 vaccines available nearby.

"People on Sunday were like 'wow, this is so cool that you guys are doing this.' They felt like we were coming to them and I think that has more of a personalized touch and hopefully it'll change some minds that are still hesitant," Armijo said.

Cedar Hill barber Jason Belman is lending his time and talent to the cause.

"It's just.. taking care of each other and especially taking care of our families," Belman said.

Families including his own. Until now, Belman has passed on getting vaccinated since he and his daughter recovered from the virus in January.

"I do regret the fact that my daughter got it, COVID, so for me to protect her, I know I have to get vaccinated so I've been talking a lot. I've been educating myself on the vaccine versus hearing it from mouth to mouth," he said.

Misinformation, distrust of the government, and in some cases, fear of deportation at vaccination sites continues to keep some unvaccinated.

Armijo says others say they just don't have the time.

"I want to get a vaccine but I literally work 7 days a week. Literally," Armijo said of what she's heard from the community.

Obstacles serving as a driving force for ordinary citizens who are giving their time for others.

"We really are a family and during the pandemic, we have to stick together," she said.

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