By Imani G. Thomas
TALLAHASSEE, FL — In February Florida’s Governor vowed to make sure that people who needed the vaccine, receive the vaccine for a better Florida. On, February 12, Floridians were granted access to additional COVID-19 vaccines at 755 pharmacy locations across 52 out 62 counties.
Currently the state has provided 2,973,782 people with vaccinations and the number increases every day.
When the vaccine first came out, the minority communities were not being served. Only 5 percent of the shots given statewide have been given to minorities, and 8 percent of the vaccine given in Leon County has gone to minorities.
Many minorities are skeptical of the vaccines therefore, the solution is to meet these communities in the middle.
The Florida Department of Health in Gadsden County will administer 200 Moderna vaccines per week to residents aged 65 and older by appointment only. Some people in the county are responding to it in a great way.
Cierra Thomas a Gadsden County High School, teacher believes that this is the best option.
“Communities like Gadsden County and the southside of Tallahassee have been underserved since the beginning of Covid, so I’m glad we are getting the resources we need,”.
On February 26,2021 Florida A&M University opened a free vaccination site to ensure students and people in the community who are eligible can get vaccinated. To demonstrate the importance of vaccinated Dr.Larry Robison, president of Florida A&M University.
FAMU Student Health Services Director Tanya Tatum said that FAMU is doing targeted outreach to the Southside communities and some of other underserved communities.
Kaylin Jackson, a senior at FAMU and a surgical technician at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is not sure about the vaccine, like others in the community but knows this is the right thing to do.
“I am personally a little scared of getting the vaccine, but I know people in the community deserves to and I know I need to do my part and get it also”, Jackson said.
Black Churches ensure the government gets the vaccine to minorities by holding vaccination days. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church started the initiative in January and held 2 weeks of vaccinations for seniors over the age of sixty-five.
Reverend Julius Harrison McAllister, Jr., a Pastor of Bethel stated that like many other initiatives in our Black community, it is the responsibility of the Black church to lead the way in getting our communities vaccinated.
On Saturday, February 20, 2021, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health, sponsored a COVID-19 Vaccination Site. Held at the Bethel Family Life Center, the site administered 500 vaccines.
Jasmyne Henderson was one of the fortunate ones in to receive the vaccine at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Life and Family Center site.
“I’m just so glad that I had the opportunity to receive the vaccine,” Henderson said. “It made me realize how serious it is for minorities to get the vaccine and that we are making a difference.”