A one-day COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic is coming on Tuesday, April 6, to the Ward Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Peoria’s south side as part of the state’s COVID-19 health equity mission to reach underserved populations.

The church’s pastor said it’s a blessing for the community because they have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“COVID has definitely impacted our church, it’s impacted the Black community, when we see the disproportionate amount of infection and deaths, it has impacted us,” said Rev. Adrian Johnson, pastor at Ward Chapel A.M.E.

She said the National Guard came early in the morning, set up the downstairs area, and will be helping with the flow of people.

First, individuals will check-in at the intake center. There will be 6-8 tables with two medics at each station. Each patient will get a shot card. Once inoculated, they will be walked over to an observation area for 15-30 minutes in case of side effects.

Johnson said it’s easier for people because the Johnson & Johnson shot is “one and done.”

Pastor Garry Mitchell serves as the coordinator for the A.M.E. COVID equity team. He said his church in Maywood held a clinic that went exceptionally well.

“We were originally booked for 500, but it filled up so quickly that they took it up to 700,” he said.

Mitchell said the Illinois Department of Public Health gave all the resources needed, making it a seamless process. Mitchell said it’s not something his community is used to.

“We’ve done so much with so little for so long, we wouldn’t know what to do if we had something to work with….When I look at the resources provided, it blows my mind. The service provided by the IDPH and National Guard was a great blessing to our community and all those who got serviced,” He said.

Mitchell said the goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible, and the “church’s job is the get them to the door.”

“I’ve done COVID funerals. It’s great to have COVID vaccinations,” he said.