Orlando commissioner works to educate Black communities about COVID-19 vaccine

Burns said there should be more access to the vaccine for Black people

An Orlando commissioner went door-to-door in Washington Shores Tuesday in an effort to educate people prominently Black neighborhoods in his district about where to go to get one.

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando commissioner went door-to-door in Washington Shores Tuesday in an effort to educate people prominently Black neighborhoods in his district about where to go to get one.

News 6 followed Bakari Burns as he walked through Washington Shores knocking on doors and passing out flyers.

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Burns said there should be more access to the vaccine for Black people and it’s why he’s working to get results.

“To ensure that our communities are getting the vaccines that we need,” Burns said.

He said he’s happy to see a few churches have done vaccines nearby and also at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on South Goldwyn Avenue, but doses limited.

“I’m disappointed that the vaccine seems to be unavailable in parts of our community that our hardest hit by COVID-19,” Burns said.

Mattie Streeter, 83, said she’s been trying to get her COVID-19 vaccine for what seems like forever, but the access in her Washington Shores neighborhood seems low.

“I’ve been trying and trying and haven’t been able to get nothing,” Streeter said. “If it can be in my neighborhood I’ll be pleased with it.”

Many neighbors felt the same.

“We are people who have been in this community for 78 years, and we know how we are mistreated,” said Macene Isom.

According to the Florida Department of Health, of the more than 100,000 people vaccinated so far in Orange County, more than 60,000 were white, 24,000 were other and only 7,500 black.

The State Department of Health said it has held vaccine events in underserved areas, including at a few churches.

Burns said he will continue working to make sure senior residents know about the resources for vaccines in their community.

You can contact the Commissioner’s office for more information at 407-246-2006


About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.