WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — State Rep. Geraldo Reyes, Jr. has seen pain during the pandemic and he’s had enough.
“I have loved ones,” he said.
He’s now trying to use his position as Chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus to encourage more people of color to take the vaccine. People of color lag far behind in terms of vaccination rates here in Connecticut.
“I want people to see — especially communities of color that have been underserved and under-vaccinated to go and get their shot,” he told News 8. “And I implore all of my colleagues (in the caucus) to do the same thing in their districts. Please emphasize that you have to get this shot.”
Rep. Reyes is emploring them to be creative with their messaging. He wants members of his caucus to have their picture taken while getting the vaccine and to spread the picture all over their districts. He got hit shot yesterday and the picture is getting out.
News 8 asked people of color about this idea at a pop-up mobile clinic sponsored by the city to take the vaccine directly to people of color in their neighborhoods. Today, the mobile clinic popped up at Mt. Olive AME Zion Church.
“It’s wonderful because some of us don’t have cars and we don’t have anyone to bring us at spots,” said Glenda McMillian, of Waterbury.
McMillian admits there is hesitation among some people of color to get the vaccine.
“Yes because of prior things that have happened to people of color,” she said. “We don’t know what we’re taking but we have to have trust in it. We have to have trust in it.”
And she told News 8 she felt “relieved” after getting her shot today. She also told News 8 she approves of the challenge being issued by Rep. Reyes and thinks it could result in more people of color wanting the vaccine.
“I think it’s wonderful because if they see somebody of a higher caliber get the shot, then it’s like, well, if he can get it, I can get it,” she said.