SWFL barbershops, hair salons becoming COVID-19 vaccination sites

Barber shops and hair salons are often popular community gathering spots. That’s why the Biden administration is pushing to make them vaccination sites as well. The goal is to get 70% of Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 by July 4, especially minority communities. And it’s a plan one Fort Myers barbershop owner can get behind.

“If we make the vaccine available, readily available, then I believe people will begin to get themselves vaccinated,” said John Tobler, owner of Utopia Barber Shop at 3069 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. “Especially coming into a barbershop that’s been around the community, community barbershops and beauty salons that’s been in this community since I’ve been a little boy.”

Through the Shots at the Shop program, local barbers and stylists can become advocates for vaccinations in their communities, offering information to customers and booking appointments for them, besides using their own businesses as vaccination sites.

Robert owens, vaccinated “And now you tell the others—your friends and stuff—that it’s okay,” said Robert Owens, already vaccinated.

Debra newson, vaccinated barber “Maybe they’ll feel more comfortable, and then they can come from right in the neighborhood and get it,” said Debra Newson, a vaccinated barber. “They don’t have to go far to get it.”

Visit the Shea Moisture Fund website to become a partner in the program.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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