© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Tampa Church Gets Coronavirus Vaccine As DeSantis Targets Underserved Communities

Coronavirus vaccines being administered
Florida Department of Health
Coronavirus vaccines are administered at the St. John’s Progressive Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa on Jan. 10, 2021.

The church, in the College Hill neighborhood of Tampa, vaccinated 590 people with their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

A church in Tampa has begun to administer the coronavirus vaccine as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ effort to have county health departments partner with churches and make the vaccine available in underserved communities.

According to a Florida Department of Health news release, the St. John’s Progressive Missionary Church in Tampa began administering the vaccine on Sunday.

The church, located at 2504 Chipco St. in the College Hill neighborhood of Tampa, vaccinated 590 people with their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

They will receive their second dose on Jan. 31.

“Our communities of color face a double challenge,” Hillsborough County health director Douglas Holt said in the release. “They have a higher chance of being infected. That has a lot to do with being essential workers, being out in the community and don’t have a choice to work from home.”

Hillsborough is operating five coronavirus vaccine sites that are open to the public but this partnership with the state is the first site specifically targeting an underserved community.

"Our community has done an incredible job at staying safe during the pandemic," Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in the release. "And protecting our most vulnerable is paramount during the early stages of our vaccine distribution.

“While we're encouraged by the demand for vaccines, we must remain vigilant on the importance of our population getting vaccinated. This partnership between the state, county and the city further emphasizes how incredible our community is when we all work together."

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.