Northside church, EWC eyed as possible COVID-19 vaccination sites

Action News Jax Gets Real: Small amount of COIVD-19 vaccinated Floridians are Black

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The City of Jacksonville pushed forward with day three of vaccine distribution Wednesday at the first-come, first-served Mandarin, and Lane Wiley Senior Centers.

Daily, 975 vaccines are being administered between the two sites. Now faith leaders across the state worry not enough vaccines are going in the arms of Black Floridians.

The Florida Department of Health reported 646,327 people were vaccinated across the state so far, as of Wednesday. Of those, 28,909 vaccinated are Black Floridians and 101,630 are listed as other.

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“The rollout has been slow, sluggish, and stagnant. We don’t blame anybody for that. We’re not fighting anyone. We’re just fighting the virus,” Rev. R.B. Holmes of Tallahassee said. He was formerly a pastor in Jacksonville and started the statewide COVID-19 Community Education and Engagement Task Force, which consists of state and faith leaders across the state.

Rev. Holmes is calling on Black churches and HBCUs to use their venues as vaccine sites to reach more communities of color. So far, St. Matthew Baptist in Moncrief administered 500 vaccines Sunday. The task force is also eyeing Edward Waters College as a future site.

The task force is working with the Division of Emergency Management to get vaccines allotted, which will be distributed by appointment. Members are currently working to identify 40 total sites across the state and will release the full list by the end of the month.