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Glades organization helps residents get vaccinated

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County administers COVID-19 vaccines in Belle Glade on July 28, 2021.jpg
Posted at 4:29 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 17:38:39-04

BELLE GLADE, Fla. — Florida is in the spotlight and leading the nation in COVID-19 cases.

Hospitalizations are also surging as the contagious Delta variant has some people changing their mind about the vaccine.

In the heart of Belle Glade on Wednesday, started lining up early in the morning for a weekly food distribution. Nearly 300 families received a helping hand and a bag of groceries.

But this week, the Glades Initiative is partnering with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, encouraging more people out west to get vaccinated.

"They gotta do it. They gotta do it. This is serious," said Olvin Dominguez.

Dominguez admits he hasn't been taking the pandemic seriously, but with the Delta variant fueling the surge of COVID cases, he's changing his mind.

"But now I do because I got a lot of friends pass away because of the coronavirus," Dominguez said.

Dominguez signed up for his shot Wednesday and received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the Health Care District's mobile unit.

"We called and asked if they come out to the food distribution because we knew there would be a number of people in line for the food they might be able to reach with the vaccines," said Karis Engle, the president and CEO of the Glades Initiative.

The non-profit has been working to dispel myths in the community about the vaccine, and Karis has been encouraging more people to get it.

The percentage of people vaccinated in the Glades is much lower than the rest of Palm Beach County. That's why Dominguez is now hoping his family and friends follow his lead.

"I'm going to start calling them and tell them and make them get the shot," Dominguez said.