Miami Gardens COVID-19 Vaccination Site Wants To Curb Hesitancy In African American Community

A sense of comfort and confidence, that's how medical professionals at the new walk-up COVID=19 vaccination site at Brentwood Pool in Miami Gardens want residents to feel.

Video Transcript

- According to the CDC. Vaccinations across the country are down 20% since April 1. Locally, the concern is to make sure minorities are getting the shot. CBS 4's Marybel Rodriguez shows us what the city of Miami Gardens is doing to get as many of its residents protected as possible.

- How you feeling? Are you OK? The arm is perfect?


- No, you'll be just fine. So I'll observe you for 15 minutes to make sure you are perfect, OK?

MARYBEL RODRIGUEZ: A sense of comfort and confidence. That's how medical professionals at the new walk-up vaccination side at Brentwood Pool in Miami Gardens want residents to feel.

- Look at it. So much attention.

- You're doing great.

MARYBEL RODRIGUEZ: The city of Miami Gardens has partnered with World Safe First, a Black-owned company out of Delaware. Their goal is to curb vaccine hesitancy in the African-American community.

REGGIE LEON: We knew that there was hesitancy amongst African-Americans. So as being the third largest African-American city in the country, the largest in the state of Florida, we wanted to get groups out that looked like us, that understand our hesitancy, and be able to talk through those issues.

MARYBEL RODRIGUEZ: Vice Mayor Reggie Leon is spearheading the initiative he believes residents desperately need.

REGGIE LEON: As of April 20, last week, in Dade County, there was only 49,000 African-Americans that have been vaccinated.

- You're going to see us in just 28 days from that second dose, OK? And we're going to take really good care of you again.

MARYBEL RODRIGUEZ: Dr. Dwight Reynolds, who is one of several health professionals administering the COVID-19 vaccine at this site, says knowledge is power.

DWIGHT REYNOLDS: We need to make sure we are able to get out there, like me, people like me, and other people, perhaps, go out there and let the public know and have a discussion with them. You don't give them a lecture or seminar. You give them, but let's have a discussion. And I've converted more people just by having a discussion, so they'll know exactly what the vaccine is and what the virus is.

MARYBEL RODRIGUEZ: And has this message.

DWIGHT REYNOLDS: I say this to my African-American brothers and sisters. If we understand that approximately 175 million white Americans have gotten at least one shot, no one has died from that, that lets them know we are not guinea pigs in this. If anybody was a guinea pig, for the first time that I can recall, it's not us. So we should take advantage of it. Going to save lives and save a lot of people.

MARYBEL RODRIGUEZ: And this walk-up vaccination site at Brentwood Pool located on Northwest 188th Street and 28th Place. It is open seven days a week, from 11:00 to 7:00. Marybel Rodriguez, CBS 4 News.