Written by Emily Williams of The Post and Courier

“The number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is beginning to decline across the country, signaling the beginning of the end of this latest surge, but, in South Carolina, like many states in the Southeast, coronavirus activity is still high.

Health experts have been saying it for months: The state needs a higher percentage of its residents to be vaccinated.

But overcoming vaccine hesitancy isn’t easy. This week, we’re hearing from someone who’s been having those difficult conversations with people who are vaccine hesitant.

Dr. Thaddeus John Bell is a physician with a practice in North Charleston and the founder of Closing the Gap in Healthcare, a nonprofit dedicated to decreasing health disparities and increasing the health literacy of African Americans and underserved communities.

This pandemic has exacerbated existing health disparities.

In South Carolina and across the U.S. Black patients disproportionately got sick with COVID-19 and died of the virus. And, since coronavirus vaccines became available, another gap emerged, in vaccination rate.

What’s especially challenging right now, Dr. Bell said, is reaching young Black men and women who are hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. He explained some of the possible reasons behind the hesitancy and what he’s doing to try to close this gap…”

Click to read the full article