‘I feel like I’m safe’: Pop-up vaccine site comes to South City McDonald’s

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Vaccine advocates want to make getting COVID shots as convenient as possible. And, what’s more convenient than a Mcdonald’s?

On Tuesday, South City McDonald’s teamed up with the Leon County Sheriff’s Department and South City Foundation to set up a mobile vaccine clinic, giving everyone who got their shot a free Mcdonald’s value meal.

A McDonald’s parking lot might be the last place you’d expect to get your COVID-19 shot, but several South City residents have had trouble finding the time to get vaccinated and this vaccine clinic was an accessible option.

“I don’t like needles, though, at all,” said Claretha Allen, who got her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. “Nevers, scared and everything in between.”

She said she’s been trying to get the vaccine for the past month but hasn’t been able to find the time.

She stopped by her local McDonald’s and found not just a vaccine clinic, but ah and to hold.

“I got a fear of shots too, I don’t like them either,” said Assistant Leon County Sherrif Steve Harrelson. “Being there with her and sharing that with her personally about why I’m doing this and about her family and protecting them and it meant a lot for me to be able to share that moment.”

State Senator Lorrane Ausley says given COVID has disproportionately impacted communities of color, it’s important to double-down on outreach efforts in places like South City.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for every single citizen to access the vaccine,” she said.

Though some were nervous, many were relieved to finally get the shot.

“I’m so happy that I got it, I feel like I’m safe,” a resident, who goes by General, said. “We want to encourage more lives to be saved. Don’t nobody want to lose another family member.”

And, of course, they’ll be getting their second dose in a few weeks.

Although this was a one-time popup event, Ausley, who is the Chair of the South City Foundation, says the community is determined to make vaccines available in as many places as possible and the foundation is open to partnering with any organization that would like to help.

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