With the power of music, a series of rap videos were made today by Hip hop public health , a community outreach organization founded by Columbia neurologist Olajide Williams, MD that aims to increase COVID-19 vaccine coverage in colored communities.
As coronavirus continues to devastate color communities, many people's longstanding distrust of medicine has proven to be an even bigger challenge, says Williams, professor and chief of staff in the Department of Neurology at Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians and surgeon.
Our goal with the Community immunity The anthology, therefore, is to increase vaccine literacy by highlighting three critical facts: first, the vaccine is safe; second, no scientific shortcuts were used in the development of the vaccine; and third, vaccination is an act of community service.
The anthology, Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology About Vaccines , contains five animated videos starring Grammy-winning rapper Darryl DMC McDaniels of Run-DMC.
COVID-19 is the most pressing global challenge we face today, and if we can encourage 80% of the population to get vaccinated, we can achieve the community-wide immunity we need to get social activities back to normal, ”says Williams.
A new national study of more than 8,000 adults found the chances of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 fell from 75% in April 2020 to 56% in December 2020. In the study, black people were among the least likely to be vaccinated. Another study found that deaths related to COVID 19 in black adults between the ages of 35 and 44 are nine times higher than in white adults of the same age.
Williams and colleagues were pioneers of the Multi-sensory, multi-level health education model that harnesses the power of culture and art to motivate people to lead healthier lives.
We know that knowledge alone doesn't motivate behavior change, says Williams. To meet the challenge of COVID-19, we need to truly connect culturally and emotionally.
The videos cover a variety of topics to help drive COVID-19 vaccine adoption - how vaccines work, how we know they're safe, vaccine myths, what to expect after vaccination, and why it's better to vaccinate to let go as COVID-19 - in a culturally relevant way.
Colored communities are carrying the worst of the pandemic, and to stop the virus in its tracks we need to up vaccinate literacy, change behavior and get vaccinated, says McDaniels, a member of the Hip Hop Public Health Advisory Board. By harnessing the power of hip hop, we hope to connect with communities of color in a way that they can identify with and encourage people to get vaccinated. I am honored to vote for this important campaign - grab everyone!
Hip Hop Public Health will be releasing a new video on the series each week through March 11th.
The free videos will be featured through a series of community mobilization events in partnership with New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force , HeartSmilesMD , the New York Department of Education Office of School Wellness Programs , and other.
Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology About Vaccines was produced by Artie Green.
Read the full press release from Hip hop public health .
The program is supported by the Skoll Foundation, Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Dalio Center for Health Justice in New York-Presbyterian, and Columbia Neighbors.