ORLANDO, Fla. — Volunteers knocked on doors at a local extended stay to encourage the residents there to take advantage of a COVID-19 vaccination event taking place in the area.
The Florida Department of Emergency Management learned that there were at least 150 eligible residents staying at a vacation lodge just steps away from a free pop-up vaccination event in a Parramore shopping center parking lot Monday.
“This corridor here is a critical area, when we start talking about extended stay hotels where there are those that usually don’t have access to clinics or other facilities to receive this very important vaccine,” Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill said.
Volunteers administered the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines to more than 200 residents who were able to walk right up without appointments.
“One and done, honey. Yes, live a little longer,” resident Tameka Payne said. “I’m just thankful that I was able to get out today to get a vaccination to help me be safe around my children and my family.”
Payne’s cousin Darice Cox said she had doubts about getting the vaccine, until something changed her mind.
”Recently I have become a grandmother, and my grandbabies are preemies, so they are still in the hospital and I’m just waiting for the day that I get to hold them...That made me change my mind right there,” Cox said.
There’s an effort underway to get the vaccine into underserved communities through a partnership between the state and local governments.
“We partnered with the local city commissioners, county commissioners, folks that actually have relationships on the ground, that know these neighborhoods inside and out,” explains Ben Fairbrother with the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Although the state plans to continue that partnership, they’re not yet able to say when the next pop-up vaccination event will be held.
Cox Media Group