Gina Dorvil and her husband had trouble securing a vaccine appointment until she heard through word of mouth that she could sign up at her grocery store.
News 6 partner Florida Today reports a community-organized event through the Brevard Hispanic Center, the Brevard Caribbean American Cultural Association and the Episcopal Church brought out hundreds Saturday for vaccines by going into the community and helping them secure appointments.
Dorvil said events like the one Saturday made the process much more accessible. Sign-ups were conducted at Bravo and Thrifty supermarkets in Palm Bay leading up to Saturday.
“It’s easier for the community to participate. They put it in the grocery store,” Dorvil said. “It’s much, much easier. Here, we just sign up and we come to get it.”
Around 800 people were able to get vaccinated Saturday at the Church of Our Savior in Palm Bay just off Port Malabar Boulevard, according to Javier Molinares, president of the Brevard Hispanic Center, who helped organize the event.
Although the event was open to everyone in the community, it was designed with a focus on helping those in the Hispanic and Caribbean communities who may have not yet been able to get a vaccine, Molinares said.
“This is a group of organizations that got together to help the Department of Health with vaccinations,” said Molinares. “This is an example of how Brevard County works with the community. This is a multicultural event.”
Molinares himself got his first shot Saturday morning and said he expects more events to take place, especially with eligibility opening up and people needing their second doses.
Palm Bay Mayor Rob Medina was among those who stopped by the event Saturday to show his support. “I think it’s a great collaboration with the Brevard Hispanic Center and the church and emergency management.”
Medina praised the organizers of the event for going into the community at supermarkets to sign people up for vaccine appointments.
“Any time you go out into the community, whether it’s through churches or different venues or different venues meeting the public where they are, those collaborations are exactly what it means to bring the community together,” he said.
“Some of those individuals in what can be considered an underserved community might not have had that chance to get online and get the vaccine,” Medina added.