By Brooke Shafer

MIAMI (CBS Miami) – Doctors and nurses with the UHealth pediatric mobile unit were in northeast Miami-Dade on Tuesday morning to vaccinate kids and some of the most underserved in Miami-Dade County against COVID-19.

The vaccination site at the Center for Haitian Studies at 8260 Northeast 2nd Avenue was open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with vaccinations for people 12 years and up.

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“This is a big day,” said Bibi Ramkhelawan, whose 12-year-old daughter Jenna got her COVID-19 vaccine.

“She needs to be vaccinated so she can be safe in school,” said Ramkhelawan. “I don’t want her to be exposed to a virus.”

The vaccination site offered all three vaccine options, including Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer. A spokesperson with UHealth said about 25 people were vaccinated on Tuesday morning.

“It’s very important to educate people and also to give them access to the vaccine,” said Dr. Larry Pierre, the Executive Director for the Center for Haitian Studies.

Dr. Pierre said along with getting people access to the vaccine, there’s an additional hurdle of letting people know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe.

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“Because of the past, there was blame on Haitians as carriers of HIV/AIDS and now there’s another disease where people have doubts,” said Dr. Pierre.

Monday’s numbers from the Florida Department of Health show that so far, of the more than 7.5 million people who have received either one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, 67% of those are white and only 7% of those people are Black.

Dr. Pierre said along with vaccination events, they’ve turned to radio announcements and messaging to end some of the vaccine myths that could be preventing some people from rolling up their sleeves.

“We take the vaccine ourselves, we have leaders of the community taking the vaccine and doing testimonials about the safety of the vaccine,” he said.

The UHealth pediatric mobile unit, which provides free medical care to the most underserved populations, will make several other stops throughout Miami-Dade County this week.

Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:

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  • Wednesday 5/19: Air Base K-8 Center for International Education; 12829 S.W. 272 St., Homestead
  • Friday 5/21: Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church; 11691 N.W. 25 St., Doral
  • Saturday 5/22: Little Havana Health Fair and Vaccinations (Next to Jose Marti Park) ; 434 S.W. 3rd Ave., Miami

Appointments can be scheduled by calling (305) 243-6407. Walk-ins are also welcome.