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Connecticut News

Black, Latino Bridgeport Clergy Roll Up Their Sleeves For Vaccine

The Rev. Carl McCluster, Senior Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Bridgeport, getting his vaccine shot at Hartford Hospitals St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport on Friday, February 26, 2021.
Ebong Udoma
/
WSHU Public Radio
The Rev. Carl McCluster, Senior Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, Bridgeport, getting his vaccine shot at Hartford Hospitals St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport on Friday, February 26.

Black and Latino clergy in Bridgeport, Connecticut, rolled up their sleeves and got their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

The group of nine were led by Carl McCluster, the senior pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church. He had a message for members of his community hesitant about the vaccine.

“Choose to be paranoid or choose to face the facts. Not getting the vaccine is putting yourself at mortal danger right now,” he said.

State figures show only 6.9% of Connecticut’s Black and Latinx residents had taken their first shot of the vaccine. That’s compared to 16% of white residents.

“It is time for us to fight the fear of taking this vaccine. To fight the fear of COVID. And for us it begins right here with these COVID shots today,” McCluster said.

Governor Ned Lamont said the state has set-up mobile clinics to get the vaccine into their communities.

“We are going to bring them right to your churches to make it easier for people. If you can't get to St. Vincent’s we’ll come to you,” Lamont said.

The state wants to improve those numbers with mobile vaccine clinics at churches in communities of color.