CHESAPEAKE, Va. — First Baptist Church South Hill is teaming up with FEMA and city leaders to target underserved neighborhoods.
“There is still a lot of hesitancy in the Black and brown communities,” explained operations consultant Mary Bibbs.
Five hundred Pfizer vaccines are available every day through May 1. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and people do not need an appointment to show up. The church is located at 3633 Galberry Road in Chesapeake.
FEMA leaders said they will continue support to the vaccination mission in Hampton Roads with additional temporary clinics opening to ensure access and equity in providing the essential COVID-19 vaccine.
“We found that it is really important to the community that our whole role coming down to Virginia being in Norfolk and Hampton Roads area was to increase access to the vaccine,” Bibbs said.
She added the goal of the clinic is to get more people vaccinated in Virginia. “What we want to do is save lives. We want to educate people, let them make a decision based on what is best for their family.”
“It’s a way of getting the vaccine to the people and allowing them to have trust and confidence in the system,” Senior Pastor Mike Toliver explained.
Organizers said they are going out into the communities to talk to people and let them know that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.
Bibbs said, “We see our canvassing works. Going out and talking to the community has worked because the group that is coming in so far has been very diverse and we are really pleased with that.”
On Monday, a father and son duo got their shots together.
“We just wanted to make sure that we are like, safe,” explained Jayden Smith.
Jayden is 16 years old and his dad, Carl, said they are doing their part to move forward toward normalcy.
Carl said, “In the head of the household leading by example, this is the precedent that we have to set in the Black community and come out and speak about why we should get this and stop being scared of why we don’t have this.”
All Hampton Roads residents over the age of 16 are eligible to receive their free COVID-19 vaccine. 16 and 17-year-olds need to have a parent or guardian with them at the vaccination site.
Reasonable accommodation for people with access and functional needs is available as well as information and onsite interpretation in a variety of languages, including American Sign Language.
For information on all available clinics visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-829-4682.