READING, Pa. — In less than a year, Zion Baptist Church in downtown Reading went from fighting just to be a COVID-19 testing site to hosting its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

"I just want [people] to understand, it ain't over yet," said Dr. Rev. Bruce Alick, the church's pastor. "We got stuff we got to do. We're just trying to do our part."

In partnership with Tower Health, the Reading NAACP, and Oakside Pharmacy, the church at Thorn and Washington streets vaccinated hundreds on a first-come, first-serve basis on Palm Sunday.

"We vaccinated a total, I understand, of 440 people, got their first shot," said Alick.

But there's more work to do; the church said it will welcome vaccine patients back on April 18 for their second shot, and it's looking to see if people can possibly come to get their first dose on that day as well.

69 News first told you about the church's efforts to become a testing center last summer. Alick said it's extremely important for people in the city to get tested or vaccinated somewhere they feel at home.

"People feel comfortable at church. and so they come where they know," said Alick. "It's an exhilarating feeling to be a part of something that is helping to bring hope."

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