Miami-Dade County, Florida – One-time stipend for full and part-time workers in the district who receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Miami-Dade School Board leaders, this comes after at least 13 teachers, bus drivers, and other employees have died just within the first two weeks of class alone.
All of those who passed away were black and unvaccinated, like Abe Coleman Jr., a 30-year veteran of the school system.
“He was a very charismatic person, joyful person, hardworking,” says his son, Abe Coleman III, whose aunt also died of COVID-19. “He was definitely a man anybody can set out to be”
His son is now burying his dad and an aunt, Veronica Coleman-Bostic who died two days later. She, too, was an educator by trade who had not gotten the vaccine.
Thursday evening the memorial service for Coleman will be held at The Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
“I try to push it to my family the best I can,” says his son. “I try to push it to other people, but unless you’re putting in the place to take them to do it, it’s hard to get me to do it.”
According to Dr. Bernard Ashby, a South Florida cardiologist who is part of a group trying to ensure better healthcare access for black and brown communities, changing mindsets among that disproportionately affected group requires more than just short-term incentives.
“We need to approach these communities in a more holistic way,’ says Ashby.
‘In order for us to address the vaccine issue, we need to address the general health issues of our population,” she explains. “For example, I’m a cardiologist, and last year over 500,000 folks died of COVID-19. Well, more people died from heart disease — that ain’t going on anywhere.”
In the meantime, once they prove their vaccination status, district employees can expect the cash delivered to their paychecks.