2 vaccination clinics open in Jacksonville’s underserved communities

Jacksonville church offers vaccines Saturday for seniors in the Black community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city’s pop-up vaccination clinic at the Clanzel Brown Senior Center in Moncrief opened for a second and final day Saturday. It’s in an effort by city and community leaders to reach underserved communities where the vaccine has not been available.

By the end of the day, the city will have vaccinated nearly 975 people over two days.

The Clanzel Brown Center was open Saturday for health care workers, first responders and people 65 and up whose birthdays are from July through December. (Nearly 500 doses were administered Friday to those with January through June birthdays.)

City's pop up vaccination clinic (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

A handful of people arrived before 6 a.m. Saturday waiting for the site to open, including Cora Gardner and her brother who said it’s only a five-minute drive from their house.

“It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. Nothing could be no better and it’s close right by at the house, too,” said Gardner.

The site provides the Pfizer vaccine, so patients must return within 21 days for a second dose. The city is providing a voucher to people who receive the first dose Friday or Saturday.

2nd site giving 600 doses to pre-registered seniors

A few miles away, also on Saturday, vaccines were being given at St. Stephen AME Church in another underserved community.

The 600 available doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered to pre-registered senior citizens at the church’s Child Care and Learning Center at 1525 North Davis St., a block south of UF Health Jacksonville on Eighth Street near I-95.

Second doses will be administered at the same church on March 6.

This comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis has pushed for vaccination clinics to open at places of worship across the state -- with a focus on predominantly Black churches. DeSantis said more than 30 churches will host vaccinations this week.

News4Jax spoke with Jeffrey Goldhagen, a former director of the Duval County Health Department, who said a plan still needs to be put in place for the continuous distribution, as well as getting the word out about the vaccine itself.

“There needs to be really targeted focused evidence-based messaging that will inform the community and communities, in particular, minority communities, as to the pros and cons of the vaccine, and help them understand the necessity of receiving the vaccine,” Goldhagen said.

Goldhagen said while the supply outweighs the demand, he said there needs to be a campaign for mass vaccination and seeking out public health experts to get on board with a response to the pandemic.

Last month, St. Matthew Baptist Church in Moncrief administered 500 doses.

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