Carla Brown and a team of coronavirus crusaders have administered more than 750 vaccination shots in their community.
Nurse Carla Brown is on a mission to vaccinate her community and help save as many lives as possible. Along with fellow coronavirus crusaders, she has helped administer 750 vaccination shots since starting their mission in March. For Brown, the vaccination drive is very personal, having lost her husband to coronavirus. The nurse, who hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is focusing on vaccinating the elderly, and homebound. The drive is also aimed at vaccinating those who don't have access to a vaccination site, according to Good Morning America.
Brown was working as a hospital psychiatric nurse in May 2020, when she contracted the virus and ended up passing it to several family members including her husband. David, her husband, was a two-time cancer survivor and more susceptible to the virus as a result. He was put on a ventilator before passing away in July 2020. "I couldn't be with him. He was in that hospital by himself and I couldn't be there to hold his hand," said Brown, recalling the death of her husband. "He took my heart with him. My heartbeat, but it's not the same," said Brown. It still haunts her that she couldn't save her husband and she wants to help others now. "I want to save as many as I can now. Whatever it's going to take," she added.
Along with a team of Coronavirus crusaders, she now goes door-to-door registering people for vaccination and driving them to their appointments in her own car. Her main focus is on vaccinating those who have limited access to vaccines. "Whatever it's going to take. I just want to get the minority and those most in need to get this vaccine," she said, reported WBRZ. "We have a population of people who are not computer-savvy, don't know how to use a smartphone."
She has also partnered with a local pharmacy so she can administer vaccines. Polls showed that African Americans were initially hesitant to get vaccinated over the past year, but the polls from spring 2021 show there has a sharp rise in members of the community wanting to get vaccinated. Brown told The View that she still came across people who were hesitant about taking the vaccine. "It's about face-to-face, persuading them, showing them, 'hey I got this vaccine, my dad, 90, received this vaccine, you need to get it,'" said Brown. She's also blunt with them. "You want to go to your grave early, or you want to live? That's been my sales pitch," said Brown, helping many overcome their fear of the vaccination. "We are doing our best to use data and true science to show them the importance of having the vaccine," she added.
Brown adds that seeing her, a Black woman, promote vaccination and show them data on its success, assuages the fears of many in the community. "The thing that we have to all keep in mind is that, yes, things happened in our past that would make some [a] skeptic, but at the same time we have too much new data to support the need to get vaccinated," she added.
The View honored Brown as part of National Nurse's Week, and sponsored a trip for her and the crusaders to the Gulf Shore of Alabama, along with Young's Suncoast Realty and Vacation Rentals. "We're so appreciative between your day job as a hospice nurse, vaccinating your community, taking care of your older brother and your father," co-host Sunny Hostin told Brown. "We wanted to make sure someone was taking care of you too."
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