On Saturday, 500 people got a COVID-19 shot at Peace Missionary Baptist Church in south Durham.
TIM PULLIAM: This is what community looks like in the race to vaccinate. Saturday, 500 people getting a shot in the arm at Peace Missionary Baptist Church in south Durham. Eight Black and Latino churches across different faiths pulled off this COVID-19 vaccine clinic with the help of Durham County Public Health and the state health department. Black and Brown faith leaders met with those agencies several weeks ago, seeking help for their parishioners concerned about access.
GREGORY CERES: We want the vaccine. We just cannot get it. And they begin to feel as if that somehow they were being excluded, they were being overlooked. And we tried to assure them that we, as a church, we as church leaders, were advocating for them.
TIM PULLIAM: Reverend Gregory Ceres is Senior Pastor at Peace Missionary. He says his community sees this sacred space as a trusted and accessible place to get the vaccine. The pandemic impacting his church family.
GREGORY CERES: The word "devastating" comes to mind. That this is not the first time we've experienced this type of devastation to our community, but we are resilient people.
TIM PULLIAM: Even in a pandemic, the crisis is also emphasizing how the church is a refuge for those in faith, both spiritually and physically.
GREGORY CERES: The Latino church, the African-American church has never turned it's back-- and that's not to say that other churches have, but we can always rely upon those persons who, frankly, look like us.
TIM PULLIAM: Any unused vaccine from Saturday's clinic will be given back to the health department for other vaccine appointments. In Durham, Tim Pulliam, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.