MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A sense of comfort and confidence, that’s how medical professionals at the new walk-up COVID=19 vaccination site at Brentwood Pool in Miami Gardens want residents to feel.

The City of Miami Gardens has partnered with WorldSafe1st, a Black-owned medical group out of Delaware which consists of Black doctors and nurses. Their goal is to curb vaccine hesitancy in the African American community.

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“We know there was hesitance amongst African Americans. We are the third-largest African American city in the country and the largest in the state of Florida. We wanted to get a group out that looks like us, that understands our hesitancy, and be able to talk through those issues” said Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Reggie Leon.

Leon is spearheading this initiative he believes residents desperately need.

“As of April 20th of last week, only in Dade county, there were 49,000 African Americans vaccinated,” said Leon.

Dr. Dwight Reynolds who is one of several health professionals administering the COVID-19 vaccine at this site said knowledge is power.

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“We need to make sure we are able to get out and let the public know. We don’t give them a lecture, let’s have a discussion, so they know exactly what the vaccine is and what the virus is,” said Dr. Reynolds.

He had this message for those in the community.

“I say this to my African American brothers and sisters if we understand that approximately 175 million Americans have gotten at least one shot and no one has died from that. I let them know we are not guinea pigs in this and we should take advantage and save lives,” said Dr. Reynolds.

Leon has lead other initiatives including providing transportation for Miami Gardens seniors to get their vaccine at Jessie Trice Community Health Systems. To date, hundreds of Miami Gardens residents have benefited from the effort.

The walk-up vaccination site at Brentwood Pool, located at 18800 NW 28th Place in Miami Gardens, is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and no appointment is needed.

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For information on other vaccination sites within Miami-Dade County, go to miamidade.gov/vaccine.

Marybel Rodriguez