(WSYR-TV) — A shave, a haircut and COVID-19 vaccines are about to go hand-in-hand. Barbershops are just some of the businesses being recruited to get more people vaccinated.
There needs to be 20 million more people vaccinated by July 4 to reach President Biden’s goal to get 70-percent of Americans at least one shot.
To get there, health officials are mobilizing community faith-based partners, social media influencers, celebrities, athletes and colleges.
They’re moving away from mass vaccination sites, and focusing instead on small clinics in places like barber shops and salons where people already feel comfortable. Experts say this critical next leg will depend increasingly on targeting those in the “movable middle,” who might still be persuaded on vaccination.
White House officials praise the initiative as an innovative way to reach underserved people, especially in the Black community, given barbershops’ history as a trusted messenger dating to pre-Civil War times, when they doubled as sites on the Underground Railroad.