DETROIT (AP) — Mecca Shabazz has yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19. She doesn’t believe she needs it, despite evidence that the virus disproportionately sickens and kills Black people.

“I just wasn’t pressed to do it. It’s not a big thing to me,” Shabazz said Tuesday as a team sent out by Detroit’s health department knocked on doors in her westside neighborhood to tell residents where to receive free vaccines.

Reporters shadowing the teams spoke with residents. Some citing their concerns about vaccine safety, said they had no interest in getting the shots.


The mostly Black city has been urging people to get vaccinated against the virus that has already killed more than 2,000 Detroit residents. City health officials have confirmed more than 47,600 cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, only about 31% of Detroit adults have received at least one dose. That’s less than the state’s 50% vaccination rate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that about half of all adults in the U.S. have received at least one COVID-19 shot.

Detroit’s door-to-door campaign is the latest in its efforts to connect residents to vaccination sites across the city.

Various campaigns also are underway in Black and other communities of color across the U.S. to persuade people that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

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