Medical experts that look like you”: COVID-19 health fair on Northside addresses vaccine hesitancy in Black community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Saturday, Jacksonville Representative Tracie Davis and Indelible Solutions teamed up for a Health Fair that offered free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines and health screenings. But even if you missed the event at Master’s Touch Ministry, it will be coming back again soon.

The health fair, which is a collaboration between the Duval County Health Department and other local leaders, is offering 250 Pfizer vaccine doses.

This health fair on the Northside is going beyond simply offering vaccines. It’s promising the Black community answers to those pressing vaccine questions and concerns that might be preventing folks from getting it.

If you missed it this time, there will be a health fair again in 21 days on Saturday, May 29th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can get your first or second Pfizer dose there, a free health screening, or even have a conversation and have your vaccine questions answered.

“There is a true threat in the black community when it relates to COVID,” Mikhail Scott, the Director of Government and Corporate Solutions of Indelible Solutions, a national consulting firm.

The Duval County Health Department and other local leaders are hosting this fair to prevent misinformation among the Black community.

“We have medical directors – medical experts that look like you and can really tell you what’s going on,” Scott said.

“The last thing that we wanna see is more people that are underserved, communities of color, our low-income families taken away from us,” said Jacksonville Representative Tracie Davis.

61-year-old Garry McMillan got his first Pfizer dose here. “A lot of people were urging me to get vaccinated,” he said.

He’s here to educate people on no-cost healthcare options. Despite working in the industry, he initially had doubts about the vaccine.

“The fact that when the government does something, you look at it with a bit – a suspectful eye,” he said.

But McMillan did his research, and he felt comfortable enough here to get the shot.

“[It] didn’t even feel like a shot, quite frankly so it was quite easy, quick, painless,” he pointed out.

He understands concerns are normal, but weighing the other potential outcome is also important.

“In the back of your mind, you’re always going to stay on top of what’s going to be the long-term. But, long-term effects don’t matter if you’re not here,” he said.

For more information on this event and other resources available, you can visit the website.