How Anquan Boldin is helping his hometown get access to COVID-19 vaccines

Former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin is giving back to his community. In his hometown of Pahokee, Fla., the Super Bowl champ is helping people get access to COVID-19 vaccines. In the beginning of the year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the state was partnering with Publix Super Markets to distribute vaccines to seniors in the state.

The issue with Pahokee is that many seniors who qualify for the vaccine live far — over 25 miles away — from the nearest Publix, specifically in the Glades in Palm Beach county, where Boldin is from.

Most of the population in the Glades is Black and Latino and many are below the poverty line. 

“I was shocked because I know that we don’t have a Publix,” community activist told Tammy Jackson-Moore told 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, explaining that many don’t have transportation to get to Publix. “I knew that this was not going to be good for this community.”

That’s where Boldin stepped in.

After hearing the vaccine availability struggles of his hometown, he called Florida Secretary of the Lottery John Davis, another Pahokee native and fellow FSU graduate. 

“I got in contact with John and let him know the needs we had out in the Glades area. He connected me to some people at the governor’s office and we got the ball rolling,” Boldin said. 

His call worked, and a week later a vaccination site opened at a high school football stadium in the area — appropriately named Anquan Boldin Football Stadium. The Super Bowl champ said the residents were grateful they finally had a chance to get vaccinated.

“They were just excited [to have] the vaccination … a lot of people were excited,” he said.

Boldin said from living in the area that he’s seen how it does not have as many resources as other parts of the state.

“There are a lot of resources that the east coast gets that the Glades usually doesn’t get. Once COVID hit, it really shined a light on the disparities throughout the different communities,” the 40-year-old said. 

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