Dr. Cameron Webb, senior policy advisor for equity on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. (307405)

We can do this. That is the central message of an ongoing COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, based on facts and the latest information from trusted sources.

“This is almost a new pandemic,” said Dr. Cameron Webb, senior policy advisor for equity on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Webb said he has seen a disproportionate amount of Black patients suffering from the effects of contracting the coronavirus. He added that being vaccinated was so important he took extra time to explain how safe vaccines are to his own family.

“We can save Black lives,” added Darryl Sellers, the director of public relations at Creative Marketing Resources. The media briefing to discuss COVID-19 vaccination in Black / African-American communities was hosted on Aug. 11 by his company in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“(The Delta variant) spreads faster and younger people are getting sicker,” Webb said. He said 93 percent of current COVID-19 cases are the result of the Delta variant.

“There’s some good news, the vaccines are still working well against the Delta variant,” Webb shared.

Overall, Webb said COVID-19 deaths are still higher in the Black community. “Any life lost from COVID is a preventable (death),” Webb said.

The “We Can Do This” campaign will continue to work with Black doctors to encourage unvaccinated people to get vaccinated.

“This initiative will continue to elevate the voices of Black medical professionals in some of our hardest-hit communities,” said Georgeta Dragoiu, a White House presidential innovation fellow working on the COVID-19 public education campaign. “Vaccines can help us get through this pandemic with fewer lives lost.”

“We have a lot of work to go. We have to keep pressing,” Webb continued. “Vaccine confidence is growing.”

As students are going back to school, it is important for parents to protect their children and get them vaccinated if they are 12 years or older.

“At the heart of this now, is putting an end to the pandemic,” said Dr. Rachel Villanueva, president of the National Medical Association and clinical assistant professor of obstetrics / gynecology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “Vaccines are safe, effective, and free. We need to make that known to our community.

“If you are not vaccinated, the Delta variant will find you.”

Villanueva said it is important to improve vaccine confidence by increasing public education through factual and scientific information.

“This has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Michelle Benoit-Wilson, an at WakeMed Health in Raleigh, North Carolina and a member of the Sister Circle. “We have got to protect the children that have no choice and are not yet old enough to be vaccinated.”