Vaccine reluctance is real, and according to a South Florida member of Congress, it’s especially acute in minority communities.
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, (D) Miami, worked with federal, state and county authorities to make the three locations of the Jesse Trice Health Center in Miami-Dade County vaccination centers.
"What I’m hearing in my community, I do not like, so this is truly, truly, a make or break moment to spread this message of how important it is to be vaccinated,” Wilson said Monday at an event at one of the health centers in Liberty City.
She was joined by local pastors, the NAACP chapter president, the teachers union president, and a group of educators, all preaching the gospel of vaccination as a way to beat the pandemic.
“This makes good sense to receive the vaccine,” said Pastor Carl Johnson of the 93rd Street Baptist Church. “God has given you a sound mind, the services are here, let’s take advantage of it.”
To set an example, a group of six educators who help run the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program in Miami-Dade County Schools rolled up their sleeves and received the Moderna vaccine.
“We are here to tell our community, Black and brown communities, we need you all to get vaccinated," said Karla Hernandez-Mats, president of the United Teachers of Dade. "If you have the opportunity, come to one of the centers, go to a FEMA center, get vaccinated, we believe that this is the way to bring us back to a recovery, back to normalcy."
Also among those setting an example was Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho. He received his vaccination at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“It is important to our community, it is important for you, get yours now,” Carvalho said in a video message sent out by the school district.
Rep. Wilson said the nation is on track to meet the president’s goal of having enough vaccine for the entire adult population of the nation by May.
“Do this for our children.,” Wilson said. “We will have the vaccines, our job is to make sure that the vaccines go into the arms of our citizens.”
To schedule an appointment at one of the Jesse Trice Health Centers, call 305-637-6400.