What do you do when you see a pandemic ravaging the country and taking the lives of people you care about? If you’re Impact Church, in Jacksonville, Florida, you hold an event to get your members, and others in the community, vaccinated.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 is hitting Florida hard. Governor Ron DeSantis has already called it “COVID season” and even admitted he didn’t expect such a rise in hospitalizations. To make matters worse, it seems to hit young children far harder than the original strain — and the vaccine isn’t yet available for children under 12.
One Florida church has been grappling with the virus — and the disinformation members may be exposed to from public figures, loved ones, and conspiracy theorists — and trying to fight back.
Washington Post reported on Pastor George Davis’ response when six members of his church, including four who were healthy and under the age of 35, were taken by COVID-19 in the space of ten days. He said that he didn’t want to cause bereaved family members to feel guilt, but he believes these six people would still be alive if they’d been vaccinated.
To that end, he held a second vaccination event at his church, open to the public.
“Why is your church holding another vaccination event?”
BECAUSE…6 church members have died in the last 10 days. 4 of them under 35. All healthy. All unvaccinated. And I’m tired of crying about and burying people I love.
So take the political & religious games somewhere else!!See Also
— George Davis (@GeorgeLDavis) August 6, 2021
The event, held on Sunday, was a success. He shared on Twitter that 269 individuals had been vaccinated at the second event, and over a third of those were teenagers. Added to the 800 at Impact’s first event, in March, that’s over 1,000 vaccinations successfully completed that may not have happened without the church event. Davis says some parishioners specifically told him they would not go to a government facility to be immunized, but would feel safe accepting the vaccination at their church.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com