DOVER — The COVID-19 vaccine is coming to barbershops and salons.
Janaid’s Salon For Men will host a vaccination event Saturday in partnership with the Kent County Coalition for vaccine equity. The clinic will run from noon to 4 p.m., with Focus Pharmacy administering the shots at the salon, located at 211 W. Loockerman St.
The event is part of the coalition’s “Shots in the Shop” program. It has already done one event at Dover’s Savvy Hair Studio and is eyeing future clinics.
“Everybody goes to the barbershop and the hair salon,” said the Rev. Rita Paige, one of the coalition’s leaders. “We still need to get more of the Black and Brown community vaccinated. We’re trying to increase the rate for full vaccination. It’s important that we have vaccine events in the areas the Black and Brown communities gather. So we have to go to them.”
Rev. Paige said the group is expecting a large turnout Saturday because of its new “Boots on the Ground” initiative. The coalition was awarded a grant which allowed it to hire six individuals to focus on outreach in areas with low COVID-19 vaccination rates to educate the community about the vaccine.
“That area of Loockerman has a lot of unvaccinated people,” Rev. Paige said.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health’s vaccine tracker, 42.5% of Black individuals who live in Kent County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, 37.6% are fully vaccinated.
For Kent County’s Hispanic population, 41.2% have received at least one dose and 35.3% are fully vaccinated.
The Kent County Coalition has given out 9,682 doses of vaccine since it was formed in March. It had two vaccination events earlier this month, administering six doses at a clinic on Delaware State University’s Wesley Campus and seven more at a vaccination event at Hirsh Industries.
September’s vaccination numbers are nowhere near the coalition’s early days when it was vaccinating thousands per month, but Rev. Paige says each shot administered is a step in the right direction.
“Those who wanted to be vaccinated are vaccinated. Now we are trying to encourage those on the fence,” Rev. Paige said. “Numbers are low, but we’re still going to push forward.”