Officials with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) told reporters Wednesday (May 12) that just 658,000 Black Florida residents are fully vaccinated, adding that "we have a lot of work to do." These comments were made during a meeting of Statewide Coronavirus Vaccination Community Education and Engagement Task Force, which aims to get between 60 to 70 percent of people of color in Florida vaccinated.
About 20 percent of Florida's overall Black population has gotten the vaccine four months after the task force was formed.
“So even though you look at the overall big picture, we still have a lot to do in order to get to the concept called herd immunity to get to a point where we can resume life,” Shamarial Roberson said, the DOH’s deputy secretary for health.
Earlier this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis opened up six vaccination sites in underserved communities across the state to address racial disparities in vaccinations. The Biden administration also opened FEMA-operated vaccination sites, as well, to get more vaccines to underserved communities.
Despite these efforts, Politico said Black Floridians still lag behind white residents when it comes to vaccinations.
“In the state of Florida, it’s somewhere around the ratio of two to one in terms of people of color versus Caucasians,” said Larry Robinson, president of Florida A&M, a historically black college in Tallahassee. “That’s unacceptable.”
Task force members did discuss ideas on how to get more Black residents vaccinated, such as using phone banks, using community ambassadors and how to fight against disinformation.
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