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"I think I did a good deed." Churches convince unvaccinated to get COVID-19 shots

A group of more than 60 Charlotte-area churches held three clinics Saturday focused on getting eligible minority children and young adults vaccinated.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some skeptical Charlotteans overcame their fears of the COVID-19 shot and received their first vaccinations Saturday.

"I feel good. I'm happy. I'm about to cry, but I don't want to cry," Rhonda Lindsay Davis said.

She was one of more than 30 people vaccinated as part of the United Missionary Baptist Association's minority-focused Youth/Young Adult Vaccination Challenge.

"It was a hard choice," the city bus driver said. "I didn't have all the information that I needed to find out what was in the shot, was it going to make me sick?"

After researching the vaccine, she opted in favor, mainly to protect others.

"I had to feel it in my soul and I'm good," she said. "I think I did a good deed. I think I did the right thing."

A selfless act of love propelled Takeisha Dae, to get vaccinated with her 6-year-old-daughter by her side.

"To protect my kids," she said of her primary reason. "To protect her from not getting it."

Dae hopes her decision will convince her 13-year-old daughter to get vaccinated too.

"I'm talking her into getting it," Dae said. "She's scared of needles, but we're working on it."

That same mother's love brought Brenda Raley to one of the three vaccine clinics as a volunteer.

"My son just got out of the hospital after being sick for 56 days," Raley said. "He is truly a walking miracle today, so I feel like I had to be here for him."

Raley said her 24-year-old unvaccinated son spent weeks on a ventilator.

"I was sick to my stomach," she said. "They called me about 2:30 Mother's Day morning to say that they were going to have to put him on the vent."

Fellow mother Patricia Rodriguez helped translate at the same clinic.

"I was trying to get my people to get it," she said of her fellow Colombians who were attending a nearby festival. "My daughter is pregnant right now with COVID at the hospital."

North Carolina reported the state's largest number of cases since February Friday with more than 4,500 new infections. The state documented more than 1,700 people currently in the hospital with the virus and health officials said most are unvaccinated.

With the delta variant preying on more and more people, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Donnie Garris said area church members saw an opportunity to help.

"We are about saving lives. That is our mission and our ministry," Garris said. 

The association focused its efforts on people 12 to 49 years old.

"Particularly minority groups, because that’s the community that’s been highly affected by not getting vaccinated," he said. 

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