JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As we see a declining number of Floridians getting vaccinated, the community outreach has continued especially to reach minority communities and those who may be hesitant to get the shot.
A COVID-19 Vaccine and Health Fair event is taking place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Master’s Touch Ministry on Soutel Drive in Northwest Jacksonville.
“We’re working with the church coalition because they are already serving the underserved population’s with their food pantry,” said Mikhail Scott with Indelible Solutions, Director of government and corporate relations.
Scott said Indelible Solutions is a minority management consulting firm that works with emergency management and health departments to offer assistance.
“They understand these communities they know what it’s like and we have a trust and understanding of how to approach it better,” said Scott.
Indelible partnered with the Church coalition to host the fair at Master’s Touch Ministry. A total of 250 Pfizer shots were offered along with vital health screenings and educational information.
“I tried to encourage people, I’ve been an example,” said Ronald Walters Pastor of King Solomon United Baptist Church.
Walters got his first dose on Saturday. He said the event is happening in a food depressed area.
“Many resources are too far for residents to go. It’s important and very valuable that these opportunities help residents to not worry about driving distance cost and the light,” said Walters.
In 21 days, the vaccination team will be back to offer second doses of the Pfizer shot here at the Master’s Touch Ministry.
Over at the federally run vaccination site at Gateway Mall, numbers remain low. Health officials are able to administer as many as 3,000 doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine per day, but in the last week, on average, the site has administered only 161 doses per day.
This week, the site stopped giving out first doses of the Pfizer shot but will continue to give second doses to those who received their first doses there.
Earlier this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis talked about the declining number of Floridians getting vaccinated. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, 43.5% of the state’s residents have received at least one shot with 31.6% fully vaccinated. The rate of vaccinations dropped 16% in the last seven days.
Nationally, 45.3% have received at least one shot and 33.4% are fully vaccinated.
President Joe Biden says his administration’s goal is for 70% of Americans to get at least one COVID-19 shot by July 4. Biden says the FDA is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12 soon. Currently, 16- and 17-year-olds are able to get the shot, along with adults.
All federal pharmacies are now offering walk-in hours for vaccinations. Winn-Dixie, Walmart and CVS area already accepting walk-ins at 782 Florida stores and Publix will allow walk-in starting Monday.