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Grants available for groups to help fight vaccine hesitancy

Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 17:21:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The next step in the fight against the pandemic is closing in on those who aren't sure whether or not to get vaccinated. People in Leon County now have the opportunity to sign up for a grant to help convince more people in the community to get a shot.

The grants are sponsored by the Leon County government. The application process is going through the Tallahassee COVID Education and Engagement Taskforce. They will pick 25 groups, with each recipient receiving up to $2,500. The task force has been working for months to fight the virus and convince more minorities to get vaccinated.

"It's another thing for people who live in the community to be responsive to the needs in the community," said Taskforce Project Manager Elaine Bryant. "We haven't put a whole lot of parameters on this. We want them to be creative. We want them to be innovative. We still have the same mission, though. We want to educate. We want to inform."

Talethia Edwards said she understands the average person may not know everything about the coronavirus vaccine but it doesn't have to be that way. With about 89,000 people in Leon County now eligible for a vaccine, she's encouraging community leaders to apply.

"We've seen firsthand what coronavirus has done to our community," said Edwards. "I think the more we educate ourselves, the more we really get the true facts and transparency about the vaccine - how it's created, how it affects us and how it's going to help us get back to our new normal."

"We know life will not go back to normal but we will experience a new normal," said Life Church International Center Pastor Gregory James. "If we can get people who are hesitant to make a very, very critical choice about what's best for their life when it comes to the vaccine, then that's what we want to do."

These grants are just a small portion of the $500,000 the county has put aside to fight vaccine hesitancy. They are also offering free transportation to vaccine sites and help sponsor pop-up clinics. The county said teamwork is what's going to turn the corner on the pandemic.

"The county knows we can't do this alone. We're not nearly as effective until we engage all our community partners," said Cavell. "The faith-based community, the non-profits that serve these people, are some of the most important partners to literally move the needle."

The deadline to apply is April 8. If you're interested, click here to apply.

If you're looking for a spot to get a vaccine, Family Worship and Praise Church leaders will be hosting a vaccine clinic this Saturday. They'll be offering both Johnson and Johnson and Moderna doses.