JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Impact Church at Regency Square Mall teamed up with a healthcare group Sunday to host a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
It's to honor UF Health Jacksonville CEO Dr. Leon Haley, who passed away last month, as well as for the church to take action after losing six members in the past two weeks to COVID-19.
"I'm not scared of it. I never have been," Betty Beach said.
Unlike many of us, Betty Beach isn't afraid of needles, but she was hesitant to get a COVID-19 shot. That is until two family members became very sick with the virus.
“It hit my family so hard, so I changed my mind," Beach said. "I’ve got a 70-year-old daughter in the hospital with it right now that’s not doing well, and I’ve got a 42-year-old granddaughter that’s just getting over it. It went into viral pneumonia. I’m 89. I would not make it if I got it.”
Miss Betty went from waiting in line at the church with her family to answering pre-shot questions to finally rolling up her sleeve getting her COVID-19 shot.
From getting her shot to being in the observation area, Miss Betty said she didn’t even feel the shot, and she feels a new layer of protection.
“Not bad at all. It didn’t hurt," Beach said.
“It’s really heartbreaking," Joe Cooper said.
It's heartbreaking for Experience Pastor Joe Cooper to see six members of his congregation die from the coronavirus in the past 12 days.
“They were all healthy," Cooper said. "They had no preexisting conditions. All were normal, had no problem whatsoever, tested positive, and then, unfortunately, passed away. Four of the six were under the age of 33, the youngest being 24.”
Cooper said the 24-year-old church member who passed away from COVID-19 had been a member of the congregation since he was a toddler.
"His life ended being on a ventilator," Cooper said. "It's sad because he'll never get married or have kids."
Miss Betty gets ready to celebrate the big 90 and feels more at ease after finally getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Get it. Just get it. Because I’ve seen what it can do," Beach said.