A partnership between the state and churches could change the disparity in minorities getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the CDC, only 16% of Black and Hispanic people have been vaccinated in Florida.
Mount Hermon Ministries Pastor William Glover and his wife, Cheryl, want to make sure they help minorities get access to vaccines.
Usually, the church is a place of worship, but it was transformed into a place where 250 people had access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Before the doors even opened, people lined up around Mount Hermon Ministries in Dunbar in hopes that they’d get one of those coveted vaccines.
Glover says this shows that minorities do want the vaccine just as much. “The sites are not accessible and most of them are in ZIP codes to where they just aren’t going to draw the minority population. So having vaccination centers and localities that people know and trust is very important.”
Maxine Mitchell and Jerry Gavin feel blessed knowing that vaccines were made available in their community.
“I was ecstatic. I mean I didn’t have to call around or make an appointment or stand in line, so it was a blessing,” Mitchell said.
“Excited because, listening to the news, you don’t know if you’re going to be able to get registered and get the vaccine., so it was very exciting when we got the card that said yes, we were on the list and we could come,” Gavin said.
Many times the community comes to Mount Hermon Ministries to hear Glover’s sermons but on Saturday, they came to get a shot in the arm. For these people, it represents an opportunity to move forward.
“I think my days will be a lot better. I have grandchildren that I haven’t hugged, so I will still practice the social distancing, but I feel better knowing that I have a defense,” Mitchell said.
“The rewarding part is to see the smiles and hear the thank yous and expression of appreciation because people’s anxiety levels have been lowered,” Glover said. “We hear the stories that they can’t and that they’re on hold, that they’re filled up when they try to register, the lines are too long.”
Glover hopes to make it possible for more people can get their first vaccine dose at church.