CAMDEN, N.J. - They are getting creative in Camden, using a vaccine parade, to get more shots into arms. It had everything, from cheerleaders to an ice cream truck and shots on hand.
For the moment to happen, for 13-year-old Miguel Torres, it was truly being at the right place at the right time. Inside a Camden Boost Mobile store, when a parade happened by.
"I just seen them going by and I was like, ‘It’s a good idea to get it,’ you know? Because I’m not trying to get sick out here," Torres commented.
With permission from his family, he got the COVID-19 vaccine. So did his cousin and even a Boost Mobile store employee.
"Before, they didn’t have the vaccine for kids. Now they do and it’s probably good to get the vaccine, because if you don’t get the vaccine, you could just be sick," Yariel Torres stated, after getting the vaccine.
"I want to see our kids in school and that’s why we’re here today," remarked Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen. "Let’s talk about it, let’s talk about it."
Mayor Carstarphen led the Camden High School marching band, fire department, Mister Softee truck and staff with the health department, Cooper University and Rutgers-Camden School of Nursing on a crusade to distribute vaccines, but at the very least, have a conversation.
"Let’s just get away from the conspiracies and let’s talk facts. Let’s talk about what’s going on with the unvaccinated. Let’s talk about what’s going on with the vaccinated and this new Delta variant," Mayor Carstarphen explained.
59 percent of Camden City has one dose, while 51 percent are fully vaccinated. But, across South Jersey, officials say there has been a 29 percent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
It’s not the first time the city went door-to-door, but the first parade, with vaccine on hand. And, it was enough for Aaron Lofland, who had two recent COVID-19 scares.
"I’ve been getting sick lately. I’ve been sick twice. I’ve been to Cooper twice," Lofland explained. "Everyone should get vaccinated."
"Every step of the way that we get more people shots, that’s a great day," commented Camden City Council member Al Dyer.