New program launched in Osceola County to get people vaccinated

As Florida sees a record-breaking number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, officials have been encouraging people to get the vaccine if they haven't already. 

The Florida Department of Health Osceola County has launched a new program that officials hope will encourage more people to get the vaccine by going directly to small businesses and places of worship to get the vaccine. Business owners can sign up online and the county will come directly to your place of business and vaccinate employees. 

"With the Delta variant that’s in our community, undoubtedly, there’s a lot of opportunities for the virus to be transmitted between people who are unvaccinated," said Jeremy Lanier, with the Florida Department of Health Osceola County. He explained that the goal is to make it easier for people to get the shot if they haven't already. 

"With the variants that are in the community, and the obvious increase in cases and our percent positive - we are at 19.3 percent as of last Thursday - it’s vitally important for our health department to reach out in any way we can to our community members, and this vaccine request is just one way to do that," Lanier added.

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Solid Rock Community Church is the first to take the county up on its offer. The church will combine the vaccine event with its upcoming back-to-school food drive on August 14th. 

"This is our shot, we believe, to help our community," said Pastor Matthew Quainoo, with Solid Rock Community Church. "We serve a low socioeconomic community so it’s so important that we provide this opportunity that they get priority to protect their health and well-being."

Pastor Quainoo said that there's simply no time to wait and is asking others in the community to do the same. 

"We’ve done too many funerals; we have too many healthcare providers in our church that are fighting in ICUs to try to protect people’s lives. It must stop with us," Pastor Qauinoo told FOX 35. "I encourage other businesses and other churches to get in the game. We can’t have any spectators; we need participants in this moment as a community."

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The event at the church will be held at Solid Rock Community Church in Kissimmee from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14. 

If your business or place of worship would like to sign up for a vaccine event at your location, click here.

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