Helping to stop the spread

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Residents who received the COVID-19 vaccine are
urging others to do so.

COVID-19 vaccination
The Midtown Cultural & Educational Center was a COVID-19 vaccination site on Wednesday.

DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./HARDNOTTSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

On Wednesday, Ozetta Wilbon received the COVID-19 vaccine and touted how important it was for her to get it.

She was one of 220 people vaccinated at the Midtown Cultural & Educational Center in Daytona Beach. They received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one dose.

“It is important to support our system.This is the way to protect us from getting the virus, which can kill us. I am still concerned about the virus. I know a couple of people that have had it and died,’’ she told the Daytona Times.

Sabrina Thompson also got vaccinated that day.

“I need it to protect myself and my son. I don’t want to endanger anybody. The virus isn’t going away. I had a friend who caught it and died,’’ she said.

Vaccinations will be given again at the Midtown center on April 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment only. Residents need to pre-register.

‘Important step’

The Florida Department of Health of Volusia County and the Volusia County Government are collaborating on county-wide vaccination events.

“The vaccine prevents serious health effects and hospitalizations from COVID-19. We want to protect our community,’’ said Denise Ayers, the executive community health nursing director for the health department. “Vaccination is the most important step right now to get immunity and stop the spread of this virus.’’

There is a push to get the vaccine into the Black community, which is under-vaccinated.

The Daytona Beach Black Clergy Alliance and the Daytona Beach/Volusia County NAACP are pushing for vaccinations and registering people for the Midtown vaccination site.

“This allows access for our community. I am excited about it and the number of people getting vaccinated. This will lead to reopening, even for our churches,” emphasized Derrick Harris, pastor of Master’s Domain Church of God in Christ in Daytona Beach. Harris also was vaccinated on Wednesday.

“It’s important that there is a grassroots effort in our community to encourage others who may be skeptical to get vaccinated because of previous history. I am encouraging everyone to get vaccinated,’’ he added.

Despite the country reopening, health care officials are stressing that people not let their guards down.

“Even post vaccination, 14 days after the Johnson & Johnson dose or 14 days after the second dose of the Moderna, you still need to do what is needed to stay safe,’’ Ayers stated.

“That includes hand washing, social distancing, wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, etc., because the whole community isn’t vaccinated. So, we must do what we have to in order to stay safe.”

Vaccinations are now available for those 40 years and older. Florida is allowing all adults to be vaccinated starting next week.

Appointments can be made through the state’s appointment scheduling system at myvaccine.fl.gov. Residents also can email their names and contact phone number to blackclergyalliancedb@gmail.com to be placed on the vaccine list. 

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