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Tallahassee COVID vaccine taskforce seeks funding for mobile distribution

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 19:07:45-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Tallahassee Coronavirus Task Force is working to bring vaccines to the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

The group is made up of faith and community leaders and the hope is to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to people in disadvantaged and under-served parts of town.

The group has created a plan to start more communication with the public and buy at least one more mobile unit to bring vaccine distribution directly to neighborhoods.

They submitted a budget plan and hope to meet with leaders next week.

"We don't have any funding through the task force, we're still moving ahead because obviously, it's too critical to stand still," said Taskforce Director Elaine Bryant.

Right now, African-Americans are in the lowest percentage of those receiving the vaccine, despite being at the most risk of the virus.

"I don't want to die with COVID. I know I don't have any control over how I do it but when they said it's something that will help you not to be as sick and it won't kill you if you take it. I thought -- I've been praying and asking God for a cure so this is his way of answering that and I want to trust him," said Dr. Melinda James, who received her first dose of the vaccine last month.

James said it was an easy decision for her. Dr. Linda Fortenberry agreed it was also the right decision for her.

"We can't go on living like this so we're trusting the scientists," said Dr. Fortenberry. "I am very elated for the opportunity to take the first dose."

Still, Bond Community Health CEO said some faith leaders in town have asked people not to get it.

"I am really concerned because the church is so strong and when it's leading its people to say 'No, we're not going to take the vaccine.' We're in trouble. We've got to help our people help themselves." said Dr. Robinson.

Robinson said while they have their work cut out for them, they're not giving up.

Both the City of Tallahassee and Leon County have also committed to plans this week to help encourage people to get vaccinated.

The city approved a communication plan to help educate people about vaccines through radio ads and social media Wednesday night.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.