The effort to increase vaccinations among Black residents continues with a new push to get shots into every arm in the community.
The Get Out the Vaccine campaign is being launched by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson to combat mistrust of the vaccine in her district and throughout Miami-Dade.
“We’re standing at a memorial cemetery because this symbolizes just a little bit, a tiny fraction, of the people that we have lost as a community to COVID-19,” Wilson said at a news conference held Tuesday, announcing the campaign kickoff. The event was held at the mock cemetery memorializing coronavirus deaths in Liberty City’s Simonhoff Park.
“I established this cemetery so that people will understand how dangerous this disease is,” Wilson continued.
Get Out the Vaccine is being executed in conjunction with a nationwide Congressional Black Caucus initiative, which runs for a week, from May 1 to 8. However, Wilson said she’d like it to keep it going beyond that time.
“We will continue until we exhaust our resources,” she told The Miami Times.
Wilson compared the effort of getting more shots in arms to getting people to the polls. She is working with local pastors, service organizations and community health centers in hopes of getting everyone vaccinated through the grassroots campaign. Door-to-door canvassing, phone calls, emails and social media engagement will also be used to get the word out.
WorldSafe1st, a Black-owned medical group that has been partnering with the City of Miami Gardens on a citywide vaccination program since March, will also partner on the campaign. Wilson said the effort differs from others because it is the first time a Black-owned organization is leading a vaccine effort where Black doctors and nurses will be administering the vaccine.
“When it comes to health care, experience tells us that Black [people] tend to trust people that they are familiar with and that look like them,” she said.
Because there is a great deal of mistrust of the medical system among young and older Black people alike, Wilson said her 5000 Role Models Project will encourage and inform high school and college students that they have an option to get vaccinated through the campaign, especially since many schools throughout the country are requiring students to get vaccinated.
As part of Get Out the Vaccine, there will be a vaccination effort at Brentwood Park in Miami Gardens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 8, where members of the Divine Nine and other service organizations will look to sign up at least 50 people to get vaccinated.
Residents can call 800.935.9505 to schedule a vaccine at the following locations: Liberty Square, Sugar Hill, Scott Carver, Lincoln Garden, Annie Coleman, Cordoba Apartments, Jollivette, Overtown, Victory Homes and the Wynwood Elderly Center. Church locations will also be made available.
The Moderna vaccine will be used for this effort.