Open Data

Transitioning COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts into Underserved Community Locations

The news media has been reporting a significant drop in the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations being administered on a daily basis in the United States. A myriad of factors have been reported as causes of this drop in the number of people going to existing vaccination sites, including geographic location of the vaccination centers currently in use not having convenient enough access for people in underserved communities to get to. Other factors listed in recent surveys asking people why they have not yet been vaccinated include a reported low comfort level with the safety of the vaccines. One method to assist in reaching members of underserved communities is to set up pop up vaccination sites in their community gathering locations and have their own community leaders discuss vaccine safety in a convenient forum. Currently, a lot of community churches are filling this role, as well as schools and community centers. One additional community gathering spot that would be useful to reach out to, is local barber shops that often have regular customers who are familiar and comfortable with each other. DHS/FEMA and its partners in the vaccination effort should reach out to community barber shop owners and ask them to host pop up vaccination clinics. A community discussion could be held in these pop up clinics to give local residents a chance to ask questions and gather information about the Covid vaccines and then decide if they would like to be vaccinated at the barber shop. These forums could be set up as social informational gatherings to include free coffee/refreshments, and brochures/fact sheets available about the vaccines along with local doctors/nurses/social organization employees knowledgeable about the vaccines being present to answer questions and give out information. Local beauty shops, PTA meetings, and community clubs and organizations in areas with low vaccination rates should also be explored as possible Covid-19 vaccination clinic pop up locations.

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Idea No. 1959