To expand access to coronavirus vaccines and ensure everyone has easy access to the vaccines, the American health care system is turning to provide shots at the barbershop.
Your Barbershop Could Be Your Vaccine Hub
As part of a White House initiative to increase reach and delivery of the vaccines, the National Association of County and City Health Officials are planning to help train Black-owned barbershops and hair salons to provide accurate vaccination information and even provide vaccines where possible, This was said on Wednesday by, Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of NACCHO.
The President Biden administration said Wednesday it is teaming up with several organizations like the Black Coalition Against COVID, the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity, and the SheaMoisture company — to launch an initiative 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 that through June, the shops will give accurate information about the vaccines and give information about vaccines to customers, display educational materials, and some will even host on-site vaccination events in partnership with local providers.
This has been informed by federal data that shows covid 19 vaccination figures for black people still lag.
NACCHO’s going to play a critical role in trying to match barbershops and beauty shops with local health departments, ].this, in turn, allows the shops so that we can forge a relationship there. They will then figure out if any of these business locations can also become vaccination sites or what it would take for that to happen,” He said.
“In the partnership, health departments may work with these groups to provide health education to customers around vaccination or even supply a public health nurse,” she added. “Local health departments have confirmed to stand in line and be ready to work in partnership to leverage these critical trusted community members. They will address vaccine education, talk about any hesitancy or lack of information, and help facilitate getting vaccinations or clinics to these businesses.”
Several studies conducted in the recent past and published in medical journals found that partnerships with barbershops can benefit public health initiatives as well as the patients they are trying to reach. This has been successful with other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure screening, as well as raising awareness for mental health
Using the barbershop for medical outreach dates back to medieval times <then barbers were also medical practitioners. They would also perform surgery mostly on those wounded at war. One barber-surgeon, known as Leornado Fioravanti, even influenced the development of reconstructive surgery.
In the 19th century, barbers were among the first entrepreneurs and business owners in the Black community. However, in the post-Reconstruction South of the 1890s, Black-owned barbershops with white clientele were often targeted by mobs. Therefore Black barbers began opening more shops in the Black community specifically to serve the black clientele.
When there was racial segregation, barbershops offered a safe meeting place and was also a place where they could get information shops served as a safe meeting space for the Black community. It is common even today for men to speak openly about a range of issues, including their health and therefore, barbershops are a good place to begin.
Seeing that many people are often relaxed in that setting, he exuded confidence that this will bridge the lagging figures then NACCHO thought of the businesses to be the messengers of the good information whilst partnering with the health department to offer the timely shots