CAMBRIDGE — On Aug. 13, Pastor John Cornish opened his doors at St. John’s Holiness Church as an opportunity for community members to receive COVID-19 vaccinations for the first time. Since then, St. John’s Holiness Church at 500 Edgewood Avenue in Cambridge continues to be a site for community vaccination clinics.

“I opened my church doors to be a clinic because I believe if people in my community come to a place they are familiar and comfortable with, they will be encouraged to come out and get vaccinated,” Cornish said.

As a pastor, foster parent and youth advocate, when Cornish heard about young people in his community impacted by COVID, he was compelled to make sure he was alongside people in his community, including his own 86-year-old mother, as they got vaccinated to show that the vaccine is safe and effective.

In partnership with Dorchester County Health Department, another COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be held at St. John’s Holiness Church from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. The Pfizer vaccine will be available for individuals age 12 and up. The vaccine is free, and no appointment is required. Parent/guardian consent is required for minors.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is still available for ages 12 and up under Emergency Use Authorization, is now fully approved by the FDA for individuals age 16 and up. Full FDA approval incorporates additional safety testing and allows the vaccine to be distributed after the public health emergency ends.

As of Sept. 21, 59.5% of Dorchester County residents age 12 and older had been fully vaccinated, compared to 73.2% statewide.

“We are working to make our community safer and healthier, one vaccine at a time,” said Valerie Davis, vaccine equity officer for DCHD. “Communities with low vaccination rates are experiencing the highest rates of COVID infections. It’s more important than ever for eligible adults and children to get vaccinated, and we’re grateful for the advocacy of our faith-based leaders in empowering people to get vaccinated and to feel good about doing it.”

For more information, call DCHD at 410-228-3223.

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