State outreach teams battling vaccine hesitancy

Jacksonville, FL.. — Devon Carnot works with the State of Florida, he spends his days knocking on doors in underserved neighborhoods and registering eligible people for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Carnot and his team walked streets on the West Side near Pearl Street. They spoke to dozens of people including 92-year-old Ethel Clark.

Clark said she is scared to take the vaccine; fearful it might make her sick saying she is praying about it.

“The Lord talks to me, but sometimes it be a while.” Clark said.

She wasn’t the only one expressing concerns over the vaccine in her predominately African American neighborhood.

“Blacks were the guinea pigs that were used for those type of experiments.”

67-year-old Fernando Mcghage said, citing the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

The team knocked on 180 doors, made contact with 92 people but only 16 people signed up.

One of the 16 registered was David Small, he planned to get a vaccine at the Gateway Mall site and said the outreach team just made the process easier for him.

Some people in the neighborhood already had the vaccine, while others expressed concerns.

The State of Florida deployed outreach teams throughout the State to gather information on why people are hesitant and educate them about the vaccine.