MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP is calling out local leaders and demanding equal distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Black communities.
Daniella Pierre, President of the chapter, indicated on Sunday that more needs to be done.
“Health and access to health care is a fundamental right,” she said.
What the NAACP is seeking, Pierre said, is more access to COVID-19 vaccinations and more sites.
“We acknowledge that there is a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccinations. However, they must be distributed equitably throughout all communities within the county,” she said. “For a community that has years of fear and distrust, and rightfully so, instead of just giving us a vaccine, please provide the education, so it can lessen the fears that individuals may have.”
NAACP officials fear these communities are falling by the wayside during the pandemic. They are proposing a four-point plan for leaders to target certain ZIP codes and vaccinate those in need.
“Our barbershops, our hair salons, restaurants, all the places where Black people go need to be engaged and educated about the COVID-19 vaccination,” said Pierre.
Meanwhile, City of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo spent his Sunday morning dedicating resources to vaccine sites for seniors at Vista Alegre Apartments.
“We’re facing the biggest challenge yet,” he said. “We’re going to be doing as many vaccines as we can. We’re going to be doing this 7 days a week.”
At Hard Rock Stadium, officials are reiterating what to know before patients show up.
“It’s by appointment only. The last thing we want is anyone to come out, waste a trip and not be able to get a vaccine,” said Mike Jachles with the Florida Association of Public Information Officers. “The best advice is to be patient and be persistent.”
Thousands of vaccination appointments across the U.S. have been cancelled due to a shortage of doses.
Some state and local officials are calling on the federal government to release vaccines being held in reserve.
“We don’t have as many doses as we would like now for states like New York, for other states that are claiming to have run out of vaccine,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Fox News. “Right now is actually the pressure point that I’m feeling, and by the end of March or so I really do hope that our production has scaled up dramatically.”
Hospitalizations have started plateauing across the country and almost every state is reporting a decline in new infections, but public health officials warn new COVID-19 strains could delay progress.
“We need to assume now that what has been circulating dominantly in the UK does have a certain degree of increase in what we call virulence, namely the power of the virus to cause more damage, including death,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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