One of South Beach’s most famous nightclubs is doing something unexpected to keep party-goers safe during the pandemic. LIV is offering free COVID-19 vaccines to attendees outside the club. The popular Miami party destination hopes to encourage young people to take the vaccine in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
LIV, which is said to frequent stars like Lil Wayne, Drake and Kanye West set up a pop-up vaccine site over the weekend amid the rise of the Delta Variant that continues to ravage across the sunshine state. According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, Florida reported 23,903 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, topping the previous day’s record of 22,783 new cases.
The owner David Grutman expressed his excitement for the new initiative as LIV was able to survive a wave of nightlife closures spawned by COVID’s statewide shutdown. “We are excited, we want to stay open, and we know the only way to make that happen is if people get vaccinated, so we want to make it as accessible as possible,” he said. The entrepreneur who also opened up the Good Time hotel with Pharrell Williams in 2020, partnered with CDR Health to administered the vaccines.
Last year the virus wreaked havoc amongst the elderly and immuno-comprised. Now it appears as though the highly transmissible new strain has greatly hospitalized a number of individuals in their 30’s and 40’s– many of which still remain unvaccinated.
“The difference in hospitalization rates is not as extreme as the difference in case rates,” Mary Jo Trepka, an epidemiologist at Florida International University said of the uptick in COVID cases.
She went on to add that Miami-Dade was recording about twice the national average for COVID hospitalizations. “That’s why I think it’s primarily young people.”
Dr. Leonardo Alonso told theGrio that he’s seen an alarming number of young and middle-aged patients developing COVID-pneumonia and exhibiting extremely low oxygen readings.
“The variant is more virulent,” he said. “I didn’t see anywhere near the numbers of young people so hypoxic and sick last year,” noting many are requiring additional oxygen.
“And it’s partly because this group of people disproportionately did not get vaccinated out of choice,” Alonso stressed.
Cleve Mash of Clematis Social club has also followed in the footsteps of LIV offering to waive door fees to fully vaccinated partiers and rewarding workers who can prove their vaccine status with $200 bonuses.
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