MIAMI (WSVN) – As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues throughout South Florida, local officials urge those eligible to receive one to get inoculated, and they want minority communities, in particular, to pay attention to their message.
It has not been easy for South Florida’s African American community to get vaccinated, so when the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Miami announced they had an allotment to distribute, dozens made appointments to get their first dose.
“I’ve been trying. I’ve been calling on the phone,” Beverly Brundage, who received a vaccine dose, said.
“I said, ‘Thank you, Jesus. I know you heard my prayer.’ Here I am waiting,” Inez McPherson said before receiving a vaccine dose.
During the first month of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported only 5.4% of vaccine recipients were Black.
City of Miami Commissioner Jeffrey Watson said he and the city are working with Black churches to bring vaccines to them.
We’re paying the bill for this to be done, so it is accessible as far and wide as it can be,” Watson said.
The Rev. Billy Strange of Mount Calvary Baptist Church said there’s also a hesitation within his community.
“Access is a major concern,” Strange said. “We are trying to educate everyone that we possibly can of the importance of them taking this vaccination.”
That sentiment was shared by those who lined up on Friday, hoping when more vaccines become available, others will show up.
“They got to past their fear, man,” Walter Crockett, who received a vaccine dose, said. “If they can’t get past their fear, we’re not going to have anything anyway. We need to get the shot.”
Watson said he plans on asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to send more vaccine doses to the City of Miami.
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