NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A COVID-19 vaccination pop-up site opened in Northwest Miami-Dade a week after three South Florida teachers died of the virus.

On Tuesday, the United Teachers of Dade hosted a pop-up vaccination site at Lillie C. Evans K-8 Center, at 1895 NW 75th St.

“We’re losing folks in Miami-Dade County Public Schools and our community due to COVID, and so, this is an initiative that we’re supporting,” said United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats. “We’re trying to make sure we get the word out that as many people as possible get vaccinated.”

The push for teachers to get vaccinated comes after 13 unvaccinated local public school teachers died of COVID-19 within a two-week time frame.

“It is historically, over decades and decades and decades, shown to be the way you control an infectious disease,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Health experts stress the vaccine is the best tool we have in the fight against the coronavirus.

“When you have a virus that is circulating in the community and you are not vaccinated, you are part of the problem because you’re allowing yourself to be a vehicle for the virus to be spreading to someone else,” said Fauci. “It isn’t only about you. There’s a societal responsibility that we all have.”

All three vaccines were offered at the pop-up site.

“Every one of the employees that we have lost, based on the information provided to us, lost their lives because they were unvaccinated,” said M-DCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho before adding about the vaccine, “It is safe. It is safe. It is safe.”

No appointments were necessary for those who wanted to get vaccinated at the pop-up site.

“If it’s going to save me, I gotta be here for my three kids,” Monika, who got vaccinated, said. “The concern is not so much of me. It’s with them now, even though I can still get sick.”

Florida is seeing a decrease in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Roughly 87% of hospital beds in the state were full on Tuesday. The state reported 13,628 patients compared to 15,682 a week prior.

Carvalho said the school board is looking to incentivize employees to get vaccinated.

“I think it’s actually a wise investment,” he said. “The board is going to vote [Thursday] on that provision that we are recommending to the school board for immediate implementation.”

If the $275 stipend passes with the board, school employees who already got their vaccine will be eligible for the stipend, as well as those looking to get vaccinated.

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