Carlos Guillermo Smith hosts COVID-19 vaccination event for Hispanic community

Carlos Smith vaccination
The event will provide 500 Moderna shots to senior citizens at the Iglesia Episcopal Jesus de Nazaret Church.

Orlando Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Daisy Morales will be joining Padre José Rodríguez to host a COVID-19 vaccination event targeted to the Hispanic community this Saturday. 

The event, in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and several local leaders, will provide 500 Moderna shots to senior citizens at the Iglesia Episcopal Jesus de Nazaret Church from noon until 6 p.m.

Vaccines will be administered to those 65 and older who previously registered via pen-and-paper signup sheets at Sedanos and Bravo supermarkets in Azalea Park, a grassroots effort set up by Padre Rodríguez of the host church.

The signup sheet registration method allowed for individuals that may not have access to certain technology to still be able to register to receive the vaccine.

The church vaccination site is targeting the hard-hit Azalea Park area, which is in southeast Orange County and is made up of a primarily Hispanic population. Appointments were set on a first come, first served basis without preference to members of any church or congregation.

The goal of the COVID vaccination site and outreach is to provide an equitable distribution of the vaccine to seriously underserved communities. 

Organizations such as the Alianza Center, Hispanic Federation and SOS by Urbander will also be helping at the site.

Black/brown communities in FL represent 40% of our state population…that same group only represents 13% of those vaccinated so far. That’s why I’m proud to have helped book 500 appointments at Sedano’s and Bravo for a vax event tomorrow at Iglesia Episcopal Jesús de Nazaret,” Smith tweeted.

Orange County has so far vaccinated 111,571 individuals, including 66,409 who have completed the series, according to the state’s latest vaccination data.

Saturday’s vaccination event to reach underserved communities comes amid accusations of vaccine distribution favoritism by Gov. Ron DeSantis after announcing the state will direct 3,000 additional Moderna vaccines to Lakewood Ranch seniors, which reports later discovered shots would go only to residents of two wealthy zip codes.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at kelly@floridapolitics.com.


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