‘Shots at the Shops’ hopes to vaccinate community and dispel vaccine myths at hair salons and barbershops

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News business is bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to its clients while also working to dispel vaccine myths and misinformation this weekend.

Perfect Styles Beauty and Barber Salon is hosting “Shots at the Shops” this Saturday as a part of a nationwide initiative to get hair salons and barbershops to help get out accurate vaccine information.

“I wanted to help get this thing done because it’s something serious. We don’t want it to keep going further and not do nothing to stop it,” said co-owner Terrie Branch.

Branch says she learned about all the COVID-19 vaccine information at the White House-backed initiative through the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity, the Black Coalition Against COVID, and SheaMoisture.

The Virginia Department of Health will administer vaccines at the event this weekend and it’s also in partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials as well as the NAACP Newport News.

Branch says having a vaccination clinic at a beauty salon just makes sense.

“Coming here creates a platform they’re already comfortable with to do something great, to talk about their reservations about why they’re not getting the vaccine. They trust us. We talk to them all the time,” said Branch, who’s been a stylist for over 30 years.

The event will provide information and pamphlets to those who want more information about the vaccine as well as vaccine advocates such as her son, who contracted COVID-19 last year, and DJ Dave Champion, who need a double lung transplant after contracting COVID.

“It changed that man’s life, you know,” Branch said. “He’s a close friend of ours. It hurt us to see him going through it and we couldn’t do nothing about it. I feel like now we can and do something to help the next friend, the next family.”

The event is on Saturday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 307 Oyster Point Road.

There will be music as well as voter registration opportunities.

Branch hopes to put on more events like this and encourages more businesses to do the same.

“If a lot more people join and do this, we could get this under control,” she said about the virus.

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