Local Officials Push More to Get Vaccinated in the Black Community

Nearly 3 million people in South Florida have at least receive their first COVID-19 vaccine. But according to the Florida Department of Health, Black and African Americans fall behind.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Dr. Henry Charles just received his last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He says he’s the first in his family to get the shot. 

"Chances are this will protect (me) from hospitalization and dying," he said. “Some of our kids are hesitant and so therefore we wanted to an example. Not only for our family but for the community."

Many in the Black and African American community are hesitant to receive the vaccine.

According to the Florida Department of Health, in Miami-Dade County, more than a million people are vaccinated but only 7% are Black or African American.

In Broward County, more than 740,000 are vaccinated, yet 12% are Black or African Americans.

Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime says outreach can help increase these low numbers.

“We need more outreach to reach the Haitian-American and Caribbean-American people, especially the more vulnerable ones," Monestime said.

Danielle Berthounieux came to the Oak Grove Recreation Center off Northeast Avenue to get her last COVID vaccine dose. She said in Kreyol that her doctor encouraged her to get the vaccine because she’s at high risk.  

Miami Gardens Commissioner Linda Julien says there is a push to get more Black and African Americans vaccinated.

“We are doing a push we are educating people to come out to get vaccinated, but at the end of the day folks are going to do what's best for them,” Julien said.

Our very own Jawan Strader and Constance Jones made the decision to receive their vaccines as well.

Many local and health officials hope that everyone would want to be vaccinated to fight the spread of COVID-19. But at the end of the day, it’s your choice to make.

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