Over 200 high-risk residents lined up outside St. John Baptist Church on Saturday morning for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic organized to reach Corpus Christi black community.
Sylvia Tryon-Oliver, retired president and CEO of the Corpus Christi Black Chamber of Commerce and board member of the hospital district, said she and Nueces District Judge Barbara Canales spoke about the national trend of blacks receiving lower levels of COVID-19 vaccine to set up the vaccination clinic.
“They had already published information nationally that the black community was receiving disproportionately high levels of vaccines, and it was also in Nueces County because of a lack of trust,” said Tryon-Oliver.
Tryon-Oliver brought in the Black Ministerial Alliance, a conglomerate of ministers in Corpus Christi, and other community leaders to get people involved in the drive-thru clinic.
“So when the leaders and the pastors and ministers get together and give them a familiar face and familiar name and try to build that trust factor back into the community to let them know that the vaccines are fine and we must all benefit from it to stay healthy, “said Tryon-Oliver.
Pastors Charles Richardson Sr. of Calvary First Baptist Church, Claude Axel of Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, Adam Carrington of Brooks Worship Center, and Derrick Reaves of St. John Baptist Church were among the friendly faces of their parishioners in their Cars lined up the building.
“One of the things we were made aware of is the lack of participation by African Americans in vaccination sites around the Corpus Christi area, so we decided to move to another neutral site where we might involve some African Americans to help them Can be vaccinated, “said Carrington.
According to Mayor Paulette Guajardo, 243 people received the first dose of vaccine on Saturday lunchtime.
Tiffany Thomas, 42, said the clinic made vaccination quick and easy compared to the long lines at other transit clinics.
“I have a lot of underlying health problems so I really wanted to get them,” said Thomas. “It was in and out. It didn’t hurt or nothing.”
Henry Williams, 72, said the drive-through clinic at the church was the only clinic he tried to get a vaccine from.
“In fact, I didn’t really feel anything,” said Williams. “I just thought it was very important to get the vaccine.”
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Ashlee Burns covers trends and breaking news in South Texas. For our subscription options and specials, please visit Caller.com/subscribe