NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans today announced a community partnership with local apparel company Dirty Coast to promote the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the city.
Dirty Coast creates clothing designs that evoke strong New Orleans heritage and cultural themes. This time, they aim to improve and to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts with a t-shirt design that raises awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated, especially since several New Orleans festivals are rescheduled for the coming months.
“Throughout the pandemic, local artists, culture bearers and businesses have leveraged uniquely New Orleans flair to encourage residents to stay safe,” said Laura Mellem, Communications Director, NOLA Ready. “This t-shirt, which creatively frames Mardi Gras, Saints games and second lines as vaccine side effects, is the latest example of this effort. I’m grateful for the partnership with Dirty Coast in spreading the word about the lifesaving vaccine and raising funds for the Resilience Force nonprofit in its ongoing vaccine outreach work.”
“It’s important that we all get vaccinated so we can do what we do best: celebrate, and do so safely and responsibly,” said Blake Haney, Dirty Coast founder and co-owner.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, New Orleans quickly became a hotspot for the virus, and low-income communities and communities of color were hit hard. Although New Orleans is a leader among peer cities with similar social vulnerabilities, with over 66% of adults having received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are still many residents who remain unprotected.
To increase access to the vaccine for residents who are low-income and of color, the local nonprofit Resilience Force partnered with the City of New Orleans to create the New Orleans Resilience Corps, which supports communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With increased community education and efforts by the New Orleans Resilience Corps, hopes are high that vaccine uptake will increase in New Orleans.
A portion of the proceeds for each t-shirt sold by Dirty Coast will be donated to Resilience Force to help the Corps continue its mission to increase access to health resources for all New Orleanians. These resources include supporting essential services such as COVID-19 testing and vaccination, community education, and contact tracing. The Corps also promotes door-to-door education to reduce hesitancy in the community about the COVID-19 vaccine and assist those requesting vaccination in finding a vaccination site.