“It’s been devastating for her family, the kids, the cousins, neighbors, mother, and grandmother,” says Pastor Guns, who led Corprew’s funeral. Since then, he has broadened his message about the importance of vaccinations. “I encouraged the operators of funeral homes, when they sit down with families, that they share that during the wake or immediately after the funeral service, or even during their repasts, that they can have a vaccination clinic set up and scheduled,” he says.
Local health experts say vaccination rates in Norfolk’s underserved communities tend to be about 10 percent lower than those of the general population. “I think every little bit helps,” Guns says. “Whatever you can do to get people vaccinated, you have to do that. You have to be where people are, and people go to funerals, unfortunately.”