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In a recently published study in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, researchers compared vaccine acceptance among different populations at both outpatient clinics and faith-based organizations, such as churches. According to the study, both Hispanic and Marshallese communities in Arkansas were more accepting of the COVID-19 vaccine and more willing to be vaccinated at faith-based organizations than at outpatient clinics.
“These findings suggest that collaborations between health care providers and faith-based institutions can increase vaccination among communities that may otherwise be hesitant,” said Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., division director of the UAMS Office of Community Health & Research. “This information can help guide public health efforts to help these communities be better protected against various diseases, including COVID-19 and influenza.”
The study also found that participants who received their vaccines at a faith-based organization were also more likely to trust the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, despite having lower levels of health literacy than participants at the outpatient clinic.
There have been more than 1 million deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Today, 12,800 Arkansans have died from the virus, according to the Arkansas Department of Health, which also reported that 71.4% of Arkansans who died of COVID-19 since February 2021 were not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved bivalent booster shots for both Pfizer and Moderna, which target new Omicron variants of the coronavirus. The Pfizer booster is authorized from 5 years and up, and the Moderna booster is authorized from 6 years and up.
The latest COVID booster is currently offered at all UAMS Health primary care clinics and by the UAMS Office of Community Health & Research at mobile health events across the state. For more information or to view the schedule of upcoming mobile health events, visit nwa.uams.edu/covid.
The UAMS Northwest Regional Campus includes 329 medical, pharmacy, nursing and healthcare students, 66 medical and pharmacists, and two sports medicine students. The campus has nine clinics, including a student-led clinic, orthopedics and sports medicine, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy. The faculty conducts research to reduce health disparities.
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, health professions and public health; a research school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses the entire clinical enterprise of UAMS. UAMS is the only Level 1 adult trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,240 students, 913 medical residents and fellows, and five dentists. It is the state’s largest public employer, with more than 11,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, TwitterYouTube or Instagram.