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Ophelia Pierce And 600 Other Parramore Residents Get Vaccinated at Shiloh Baptist Church

Photo: Ophelia Pierce, Danielle Prieur
Photo: Ophelia Pierce, Danielle Prieur

Some 600 Parramore residents got their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Sunday at a vaccine clinic at the Shiloh Baptist Church of Orlando.

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Parishioner Ophelia Pierce, wearing a silver gray hat, matching pant suit and a face mask, got her first Pfizer shot at the event on Sunday.

Pierce, a four-time cancer survivor, says she’s relieved to finally get the vaccine.

She says she struggled to get vaccinated before this event as the online signup slots would always go so fast. Plus, she says getting the shot at church is comforting.

“It makes you feel better when you’re around people you know too, that's going through the same thing that you’re going through. And we have an opportunity to get it done here. I sure am grateful for that and all that our pastor went through for us to get it.”

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Rep. Anna Eskamani who planned the clinic along with Rep. Tray McCurdy, the state of Florida and church leadership says faith-based clinics help address problems around vaccine access in the state.

She says that's why they held a similar clinic at St. Philip Phan Van Minh Vietnamese Catholic Church yesterday.

“And whether it’s geographical barriers. Language barriers. Income barriers. Technology divides. We know that we have to work together to make sure that every person who wants the shot can get the shot.”

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Pastor Rev. Derrick Williams says to reach the Black community in Orlando, it's crucial to hold more vaccine events like this one at churches. 

He says they're already planning a clinic to distribute second doses at the church the last week of March.

“We’ve only been here for 121 years. We are one of the pillars in the area and I believe that our community will respond a lot better coming to a place that they’ve known of.”

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The vaccine clinic is taking place at the church’s Life Center until 3 pm today. Only people with appointments are being vaccinated because of the demand. No walk-ups are allowed.

To find out if you're eligible, or to get a shot, click on the link.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.