County leaders have this message to call on those hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine: Get out and get it.
“Our goal is to reach and get everybody vaccinated," said Congresswoman Federica Wilson, who represents Florida's 24th congressional district.
She was joined by Miami-Dade city and county officials on Tuesday at Simonhoff Park in Miami to call on the Black community to get out and get their shot.
In South Florida, there are many in the Black and African American community who are hesitant to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
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According to the Florida Department of Health, in Miami-Dade County, about 1.2 million people have at least received their first dose of the vaccine, but only 15% are Black or African Americans.
Community leaders came together at Simonhoff Park in Miami to address the rumors within the Black community that's stopping them from getting vaccinated.
“I know there is so much vaccine hesitancy. Because I talk to people every day. And the things and reasons that they gave me for not taking the vaccine are varied and mixed and it’s their own personal opinions," Wilson said.
One of issues addressed is the lack of trust in the health care system.
“We have to let them know there are Black doctors and Black health professionals in our communities who they can trust," Wilson explained.
A makeshift cemetery was created at Simonhoff Park to serve as a reminder of the people that were lost to COVID-19.
“This symbolizes just a little bit, a fraction of the people that we have lost as a community," Wilson said.
In efforts to get more people vaccinated in the Black community, county and city officials have paired up with local churches and parks to set up pop-up vaccination sites.