Historic church holds Johnson and Johnson vaccine clinic, vaccinates 250 people

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A historic church on the Southside of Tallahassee distributed 250 shots of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine throughout the day on Friday. The almost 90 year-old Jacob Chapel Baptist Church held a vaccine clinic from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The J & J vaccine requires only one dose.

Recipients of the shot on Friday say they’re ready for a sense of normalcy.

“My mom is in a rehab, and now I can go see her! Because you have to show the card before you go in,” explained Rhonda Wilson.

“I’m ready to see my grandkids. They’re in New Jersey, and I just can’t wait to see my family and put my arms around them,” said Terrie Gainous.

Some said they were hoping specifically for the Johnson and Johnson shot, jumping at the chance to participate in Friday’s clinic.

“Just to get it one time and be done with it. It’s just a lot more convenient,” said Tony Wilson. “Every time you see on television when they’re administering the shot, a lot of people see how long the needle is, and seem to be afraid of that, but it’s not bad at all!”

“It was real smooth, I mean everybody was on point, everybody knew exactly what was going on,” said Fred Ford. “You’ve got to have the shot. Got to take it.”

African Americans are disproportionately underrepresented in vaccination numbers; Pastor O. Jermaine Simmons says Jacob Baptist Church was called to action.

“That’s why it was so important that the church be involved, because people trust the voice of their shepherds,” said Pastor Simmons. “Jacob Chapel is known for its outreach to the community. We literally house the homeless during cold nights. We feed every day of the week. And so for us, this was just an extension of what we do for our community.”

Melinda Harris said she was originally unsure about getting the shot, but her Church’s involvement changed her mind.

“My daughter and others kept asking me to reconsider,” said Harris. “And then the Church got involved, and I decided that I would as a support for myself and a support for my Church.”

Friday’s event was appointment only, but with the eligibility criteria expanded down to 50 and older now, Pastor Simmons says he’s hoping to do another clinic soon.

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