Black church leaders in New Haven join forces with health center to vaccinate underserved residents

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One New Haven church is doing its part to help with the vaccination process.

First Calvary Baptist Church is usually into saving souls, but during a pandemic, saving lives is just as important. That’s why the church is hosting its second pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic Monday.

This time around, First Calvary is working with the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center. It’s a new partner, but with the same mission: reaching out to groups already hard-hit by the pandemic and making sure they get a chance at vaccination.

“It is important that we create an environment of herd immunity in this community, in this city, and across the state,” said Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber.

Rev. Dr. Kimber first worked with the city’s health department to bring a clinic to his Dixwell Avenue church last month. Both the city and Hill Health will be back for more clinics in the coming weeks.

Kimber says he wants to dispel the myth that the African American community does not want the vaccine. He says they want it very much. Xavier Richardson certainly does. He was there getting his dose Monday, and he wants people to know it.

“I own a local business, so lead by example,” said Richardson. “I have about 30-35 employees, so I thought ‘I need to lead by example and get vaccinated.’ Also, being a father, husband.”

Most people getting their shots Monday were happy to learn they were getting the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. It’s perfect for pop-up clinics because there is no follow-up shot needed. That vaccine is about to be in short supply, however, so we will have to see how that affects pop-up clinics in the future.

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