Church coalition vaccinating underserved communities

Reporter: Nicole Lauren Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
People waiting outside a vaccination site. Credit: WINK News

Black and Hispanic people are less likely to visit centrally located sites to get a COVID-19 vaccine, due to factors ranging from a lack of transportation to a lack of trust in the government. So now churches in our community have created a partnership to help ease anxieties.

They are targeting certain zip codes, specifically Black and brown communities. Pastor William Glover of Mount Hermon Ministries says those groups have made up a small percentage of vaccinations in the state of Florida, and this initiative will help close that gap.

“This is not so much ‘under wraps,’ but getting the information to the people we’re targeting,” Glover said. “So having a mass media campaign and a general public announcement is counter to the audience we are targeting. Counter to reaching the audience who has been left behind.”

Mount Hermon has partnered with 16 other churches to make this happen, and they have hosted two vaccination clinics so far.

“The communications are controlled, it is through the networks that have contact with the people we are actually trying to reach; that’s why the event can happen and the general public will not necessarily know about it,” Glover said. “Black and brown have only represented 6 to 7% of the 1.3 million vaccinations that have taken place in the state of Florida.”

The vials have been provided by the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Glover is now hopeful the federal government will also supply them with vaccines at some point.

The churches are hosting a second dose clinic Saturday. Mount Hermon says those interested should reach out to its parish first to find out more information

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