March 17, 2021
Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC) has administered 25,000 COVID vaccinations since January 18, 2021, a large feat for a community health center where the majority of its patients live in COVID-19 hot spots.
Over 70% of the weekly 4,300 doses are being administered to patients and community members who belong to ethnic minority groups that have been most affected by the pandemic.
“Through our partnerships, like the one we have with the Hayward Fire Department, we have been able to reach the most vulnerable in the communities where they reside,” said TVHC CEO Andrea Schwab-Galindo.
TVHC uses a variety of methods to reach its patients, most who are living at or below the poverty line, are underinsured or uninsured, are non-English speaking, or are experiencing homelessness.
Since March 8th, TVHC Promotoras, a group of health educator volunteers, have reached over 850 families, going door-to-door, rain or shine, making sure patients and community members have access to the COVID vaccine.
“We have noticed that many people are having a hard time making appointments because of limited understanding of English, and use of the internet,” reported TVHC Community Empowerment Liason, Carolina Arroyo-Solveson.
From calling and texting patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine, answering questions and debunking myths, to partnering with fellow trusted community organizations, TVHC is doing the work to close the health disparity gap.
Not only is TVHC doing the extra outreach to help get high risk groups vaccinated, it is also simplifying the process.
“We are currently working on a rollout of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine and bringing it to our unsheltered community,” reported TVHC Chief Operation Executive, Caleb Sandford. “Getting vaccinated against this deadly disease should be easy. We’re making it easy.”