No one in Florida really knows who to trust and believe when it comes to information about the vaccine numbers. Based on the census in 2020, the total statewide population is 21,477,737. According to the census as of April 28, 2021, 36% of Florida’s White population has been vaccinated; 24.4% of Florida’s Hispanic has been vaccinated, and 17.3% of Florida’s Black population has been vaccinated. The total people vaccinated statewide, as of April 28, 2021, is 8,684,024.
By Roger Caldwell, NNPA Newswire Contributor
“Unacceptable: Only 7 percent of vaccinated Florida residents are Black.”
This was the lead title in a story by Matt Dixon of Politico, which got me extremely upset and frustrated with the Black community in Florida. When a good friend gave me this information, I thought this would have to be a mistake, so immediately I did my homework.
On 5-12-21, Shamarial Roberson, the Florida Depart-ment of Health’s deputy secretary for health told reporters that just 657.000 Black Florida residents are fully vaccinated, adding that “we have a lot of work to do.” These numbers are These numbers are very confusing because she also said to a Statewide Coronavirus Vaccination Community Education and Engagement Task Force, that 20% of Florida’s overall Black population has gotten the vaccine.
No one in Florida really knows who to trust and believe when it comes to information about the vaccine numbers. Based on the census in 2020, the total statewide population is 21,477,737. According to the census as of April 28, 2021, 36% of Florida’s White population has been vaccinated; 24.4% of Florida’s Hispanic population has been vaccinated, and 17.3% of Florida’s Black population has been vaccinated. The total people vaccinated statewide, as of April 28, 2021, is 8,684,024.
The Black community lags behind every community in the state, and people in leadership positions must come up with a plan to get 60 to 70% of the Black community vaccinated. The solution must start in the family, and Black families start with the Black women. To get anything done in the Black community, the Black women must be educated, excited, and they must support the project.
Black women love raffles, prizes, giveaways, and free gifts for families, and anything that includes money and food. The task force with a panel of faith, community, and medical leaders shared ideas to get more Blacks vaccinated. They suggested phone banks, hosting community block parties, deploying community ambassadors, and working with the Black media.
Based on the new number of 17.3% for Blacks being vaccinated, no one in Florida should be happy or satisfied with the numbers. Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration must pledge to the Black Florida politicians, and community leaders, that they are determined to boost vaccinations in Black communities.
State Rep. Omari Hardy (D-West Palm Beach), a Black progressive lawmaker, said, “Gov. DeSantis and the folks around him need to move heaven and earth to get vaccines to the Black community and as they do this, I don’t want to hear them blame their inability to equitably distribute the vaccine to people of color on vaccine hesitancy.”
In order for the numbers to increase on vaccines in the Black community the state administrators and the governor must provide resources and funding. Where is the funding for the local and statewide Black media, Black organizations, and churches? Where is the town hall meetings, and education forums from the HBCUs, and local schools? With no serious plan across the state, and no funding, the blame is put on us.
The country is declining with COVID-19 cases, but people without the vaccines are sick, dying, and going to the hospital. There are two societies developing in America, fifty percent who have their vaccine, and the other half are walking around without their vaccine. The half without the vaccine is getting the wrong message, and they are not wearing masks, and they are putting their family members without the shot at risk.
In the latest data in Maryland and DC, Blacks are just under half of new cases in Maryland, and in DC, more than 80% of the new cases. There is still a crisis in the Black community with disproportional numbers, when the numbers are compared to the White community.
We need resources and millions of dollars targeting the Black community in Florida. To think that Black numbers could be 7% with COVID-19 vaccines is terrible at any time. What is the governor and his administration’s plan to boost vaccinations in Florida in the Black community?
Black folks in Florida cannot wait, talk to your family members, apply