Orange County

LGBTQ church partners with Florida to host COVID-19 vaccination event

ORLANDO, Fla. — Some people registered to receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday are from the LGBTQ community.

The event will be the first of its kind in Florida.

This is thanks to an effort by an area LGBTQ church and others to help underserved communities get vaccinated in a place they know and trust.

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The Rev. Terri Steed said her church members, and the LGBTQ community as a whole, were hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic in Central Florida.

“So many of us have – we were the ones that lost the jobs at the Disney’s and Universals and in places like that in service industries,” Steed said.

Many lost jobs, savings and health insurance.

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This event targeting LGBTQ Central Floridians will be one of seven in 24 hours across Florida done by the state in partnership with churches.

Channel 9 has reported over the months that church sites have been primarily aimed at Black, Latino and lower-income communities.

So far, the state has vaccinated around 100,000 Floridians this way.

The event on Monday aims to make the effort even more inclusive.

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“The CDC recently confirmed that LGBTQ communities face higher rates of heart disease, asthma, cancer and HIV,” said Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

This makes the LGBTQ community at higher risk for severe COVID-19 complications.

See the full report in the video above.

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