infection rates associated with the coronavirus have
recently surged to dangerous levels in Lucas County. Yet,
the number of people receiving vaccines has suddenly fallen
off, causing the supply for vaccinations to exceed the
demand by nearly tenfold in some instances. Increasing
vaccine hesitancy is taking root, particularly in Black and
other communities of color, despite the presence of
prominent Black scientists and activists at every step of
the COVID-19 response.
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett with
the NIH Vaccine Research Center is credited by Dr. Anthony
Fauci for leading the development of the Moderna vaccine.
Dr. Tomeka Suber, a pulmonologist and expert in acute
respiratory distress syndrome, is also on the front lines of
the COVID battle. Dr. Christopher Barnes, a post-doctoral
scholar at the California Institute of Technology is also a
leader on the pandemic’s front. Barnes led the team that
captured the first-ever images of antibodies, purified from
the blood plasma of people who recovered from COVID-19,
according to the National Academies of Sciences,
Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).
Yet, homicides are at
record levels. Mass shootings occur on a nearly daily basis.
Hate crimes surge; mental health worsens; jobs disappear,
and food insecurity deepens. All interconnected with the
pandemic’s devastating impact on the Black community and
related racial disparities in health care.
Butts is attempting to
redress these issues by locally leading the way to improve
access to vaccinations in the Black community dramatically.
However, there is a gap between the availability of
resources and her ability to access those resources.
It appears as though Sean
Savage and the V Project have contributed funds to enable
Butts to begin a door-to-door neighborhood campaign to
The promised funding will
pay for 20 canvassers at $15/hour, plus two supervisors and
a coordinator. Funds are also needed to provide food, music,
and other resources to create an exciting cultural
experience in the community that people will come to.
The campaign will then go
door-to-door with a mobile vaccine unit and set up stations
at barber and beauty shops, food markets, and other
Also planned is an instant
vaccination center at the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union
where shots are accessible on demand without a prior
Yet, more resources are
necessary to ensure that COVID-19 does not continue to
burden or restrict black access to care disproportionately.