First Church of God Toledo holds COVID-19 vaccination occasion for group

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The organizers of the Old West End Church expected 200 people, most of whom were colored.

TOLEDO, Ohio – COVID-19 vaccinations continue in Lucas County.

Ohio is still in Phase 1B of its rollout and nearly 14 percent of Lucas County’s residents have been vaccinated against the virus.

People aged 65 and over and people with certain diseases can be vaccinated as part of phase 1B.

On Sunday, a local church hosted a community vaccination center to increase the number of people vaccinated.

CONNECTED: Health Department of the Toledo-Lucas district: 12.9 percent of residents have started the COVID-19 vaccine

“I’m feeling pretty good. I’m looking forward to the vaccination,” said Earlean Belcher, who received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Around 200 people were scheduled to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for the first time at the First Church of God in the Old West End.

It was an effort made by the Church, the V Project, ProMedica, and the Toledo Lucas County Health Department.

NOW: COVID-19 In the First Church of God in Toledo, vaccinations have started for parishioners aged 65 and over. @ WTOL11Toledo pic.twitter.com/ihXJ5kQfKH

– Caylee Kirby (@caylee_kirby) February 21, 2021

Church leaders say this is the second clinic they have held and it has been open to anyone who is eligible and wants the vaccine.

“Basically everyone is. It’s our church family, but it’s also our ward. We have it open. We want everyone who wants to be vaccinated to come and help them,” said Juanita Greene, church administrator.

Almost everyone who got a shot at the event was a person of color, Greene said.

But that’s the goal. She says the church is part of the community and she wants to help vaccinate minorities.

Those who get their shot say it’s the right thing.

“I understand there are a lot of people out there who, based on feelings of having been used as guinea pigs in the past, didn’t want this,” said Ramona Collins, who added her COVID-19 shot to the event. “But I think after a while, if you see that nobody suffers anymore, maybe they will.”

History has created a stigma behind vaccination for people of color.

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Earlean Belcher, who also gets the shot, says she wants to change that and help lead the way.

“Basically, I wanted to be a leader because I am a leader. I’m an elder and I wanted to take the stigma of fear out of vaccination,” Belcher said.

The First Church of God will hold another vaccination clinic on Sunday February 28th.

Those who are eligible and want to sign up for the vaccine can call the Church to schedule an appointment. Her number is (419) 255-0097.