COVID-19: Boynton Beach offered 500 $100 gift cards to get vaccinated, gave out 148

BOYNTON BEACH — When Dr. Dwight Reynolds learned how few Black Floridians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, he said he wanted to help boost those numbers.

So when the city decided to give $100 gift cards to vaccine seekers Saturday at the Ezell Hester Jr. Community Center, he saw his chance. 

Reynolds, who runs Centers for Health Promotion, directed his “vaccine strike force” of about 12 doctors, nurses and medical assistants to inoculate people who came to the center’s gym seeking shots. Like Reynolds, most residents living in the surrounding neighborhoods are Black.

“I found out the vaccination rate in the Black community is only 30-frickin-percent,” he said. “Yeah, I’m going to come up from Fort Lauderdale,” where he practices emergency medicine. 

The Florida Department of Health reported Friday just 32% of Black residents 12 and older statewide have received at least one dose of the free vaccine, compared to 70% of all eligible residents.