Galveston residents get dose of vaccine where they're most comfortable: church

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Almost 4.7 million Texans have received at least one dose of the vaccine but many others are struggling to get theirs.

Some have certain transportation needs, others can't seem to land an appointment and some say they don't trust it. Now, mobile vaccine sites that get into the communities are working to change that.

UTMB Health teamed up with West Point Baptist Church in Galveston and turned it into a mobile vaccine site for four hours on Thursday.

Volunteers administered 200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Jerrell Woodworth, a member of the church, was one of the recipients.

READ ALSO: UTMB nurses using time off to vaccinate COVID-19 patients who can't leave their homes
EMBED More News Videos

Many are calling them "angels" for making these house calls for patients who can't leave their homes, but getting it done isn't easy.

"I was baptized, born and raised here," he said. "I trust my church. I trust my pastor."

He grew up going to the church and still attends today. In fact, it was a message at a recent Sunday service that brought him back on Thursday.

"Sunday morning, not necessarily preaching about it, but just encouraging folks to take advantage of it here at a place where they feel more comfortable," said Rev. Kerry W. Tillmon.

He said some people have had reservations about getting the shot, but the church is a place where they're comfortable. He even reached out to other African American Baptist churches in the area to tell them about the mobile vaccine site.

Tillmon said all types of people from all walks of life signed up to get vaccinated.

"I think as it goes, and more people are coming out of it alright, and it's working, I think the comfort level will grow," said Tillmon.

Getting vaccinated at his place of worship certainly brought comfort to Woodworth.

"This is normal for me to be in here, and something like this, it's just wonderful, and I advise anybody, you know, take the shot," he said.

After getting his dose, Woodworth spent the 15-minute observation period in one of the pews in a sanctuary he's already experienced so many big moments of his life. Now, getting vaccinated is added to that list.

"Other than baptism and joining church, this is huge. This is huge because it's life-changing," he said.

UTMB said it plans to hold more mobile vaccination sites in the future.

Follow Marla Carter on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.