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Coronavirus Vaccination Site Coming To Pahokee In Rural Palm Beach County

Pahokee native and former NFL star Anquan Boldin helped lead efforts to bring vaccines to the Glades area.
Anquan Boldin worked to make the site happen with another FSU football alum, Florida Lottery Secretary John Davis. On Thursday, Boldin thanked leaders who advocated for vaccines in the Glades area .

Pahokee native and former NFL star Anquan Boldin helped lead efforts to bring vaccines to his namesake high school stadium, noting that "out in the Glades we’re forgotten at times."

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that Pahokee, in rural western Palm Beach County, is getting a coronavirus vaccine distribution point.

Anquan Boldin Stadium, at Pahokee High School, will begin offering at least 500 doses for seniors 65 and older, DeSantis said.

The announcement comes after criticism of the DeSantis administration for not providing a vaccine site closer to the home of the predominantly Black farming population. The state had given Publix distribtion rights in the county, leaving the area isolated with the nearest store 25 miles away.

Boldin, a former football star with Florida State University and the NFL, is a Pahokee native known for his charity work in his hometown. He reportedly called another former FSU player, Florida Lottery Secretary John Davis, for help in setting up the Pahokee site.

“Within 24 hours, we were on a call talking about what needed to be done," Davis said at Thursday's media briefing in Pahokee. "Within 48 hours, the governor was saying make it happen."

Boldin thanked local leaders who advocated for vaccines in the Glades area — South Bay, Belle Glade, and Pahokee.

"Out in the Glades we’re forgotten at times. And thank God that we have people that are willing to step up and fight for the people out in the Glades," Boldin said. "It’s my job to make sure that the people out here are taken care of."

As of this week, Palm Beach County is ahead of the state in terms of the percentage of people vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 WLRN 91.3 FM.

Wilkine Brutus is a multimedia journalist for WLRN, South Florida's NPR, and a member of Washington Post/Poynter Institute’ s 2019 Leadership Academy. A former Digital Reporter for The Palm Beach Post, Brutus produces enterprise stories on topics surrounding people, community innovation, entrepreneurship, art, culture, and current affairs.