East Side churches are working with a local pharmacy to bring COVID-19 vaccines to the community

Church leaders say there are people hesitant about getting COVID vaccine and they’re here to help

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of residents living on the city’s East Side have been vaccinated thanks to partnerships involving local churches, a pharmacy and other support organizations.

Church leaders say community members— and themselves— were hesitant about the vaccines at first.

“There’s still a lot of hesitant people. As a matter of fact, I was one of the hesitant people,” said Pastor Patrick Jones with Greater Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. “I had no issues and no problems.”

Now, Jones is encouraging others to get vaccinated by working with other churches to host pop-up clinics.

“We have retired nurses, we have pharmacy techs. We have all of the people who worked in the medical professionals who are willing to help to put on the clinics,” said Raymond Bryant, Presiding Elder of the San Antonio District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Raymond Carvajal, the owner of Carvajal Pharmacy, teamed up with Jones and Bryant to help distribute the vaccines to low-income communities.

“We’re really grateful to the, to the main parties that provided the vaccine for University Health System, WellMed and UT Health to allow us to go into these socially, economically deprived areas of the city and provide a vaccine for the people and hopefully get as many shots in the arms as possible,” Carvajal said.

So far, the trio has hosted two events at New Covenant Baptist Church and True Vision Church.

This Wednesday, they will host another pop-up clinic at the Beasley Brown Community Center at Bethel AME Church on Swiss Street.

Church Leaders say people are more comfortable getting the vaccine at their local church.

“The churches have been here for many, many years and they’ve made a difference for people for many, many years. And so, they trust the institution of the church. There are other institutions they do not trust,” said Bryant.

If you are interested in attending the pop-up clinic at Beasley Brown Community Center, contact the following:

  • Rev. Linda Carmen Bryant
    • 703-628-4352
  • Sybil Hunter
    • 210-326-4537
  • Dell Braziel
    • 210-845-4875

Also on KSAT:

SA COVID-19 Briefing, April 12: 601K first-dose vaccines administered, more than 376K fully vaccinated, mayor says

City of Schertz hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics this week at Schertz Civic Center

Far West Side buffet cited for breaking COVID-19 protocols

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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