Durham residents can receive a free COVID-19 test and a chance to voice their opinions about a future vaccine by participating in a drive-up clinic sponsored by North Carolina Central University on Saturday, Oct. 17.
The clinic will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Mark AME Zion Church 531 S. Roxboro St. It is one in a series of clinics targeting underserved communities of color in nine North Carolina counties where testing and other health care services are not easily available.
“Even though Durham is not an economically distressed county, it is home to underserved populations,” said Dr. Undi Hoffler, coordinator of the site and head of Research Compliance and Technology Transfer for the university.
“Some of those neighborhoods are in NCCU’s backyard, and we are concerned about that.”
NCCU was one of six institutions awarded funds from a $6 million grant from the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in July 2020 for COVID-19 research and care. NCCU’s share of the funding, $1 million, was used to create the multidisciplinary research and outreach effort, ACCORD.
Residents attending the Durham COVID-19 testing event may be asked about their thoughts and opinions surrounding the virus and the option of taking a vaccine once it becomes available, said Deepak Kumar, director of the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute who spearheads the ACCORD effort.
“When vaccines become available, we want to give people all the information they should know about the safety of the vaccine and everything they need to know so that communities can make informed decisions,” Kumar said.