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State officials meet at Morehouse School of Medicine to discuss vaccine access for Black people

There are three barriers that keep Black people from getting vaccinated, according to officials.

ATLANTA — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, and other state officials met with community leaders at Morehouse School of Medicine Wednesday morning to address how the state is working to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine reaches African Americans

Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports continues to show that Black people are more likely to have severe symptoms - or die - from the virus which makes access to the vaccine more crucial. 

Three barriers continue to impact African Americans from being vaccinated: vaccine supply, vaccine hesitancy and access to vaccine clinics.  

Kemp said vaccine supply is what it is for now, but he's hopeful it will increase as time goes by. 

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, President of Morehouse School of Medicine, said the school has been involved in offering vaccines to people in the community.

RELATED: Gov. Kemp, Toomey participate in Morehouse School of Medicine roundtable on vaccine hesitancy

According to Rice, the numbers show vaccine hesitancy has been replaced with vaccine acceptance. 

"Here at Morehouse school of medicine we have eight thousand people on the waiting list," Rice said. "They've done about twelve hundred vaccinations so far, 68.8% of those vaccinations have been African Americans, compared to the national average of 4.7%."

"If you put the vaccination sites in the right community you will get people of color being vaccinated," she explained during the roundtable. 

Dr. Toomey said they are using mobile vaccination clinics and providing rides to sites to better improve access to communities of color. That service has begun in Fulton County.