RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As smaller community COVID-19 vaccine clinics come to the Richmond and Henrico area, the VCU Health Hub at 25th continues its mission to bring down barriers for vaccine access throughout the East End.
Byron Hunter, director of community initiatives for VCU Health, says their planning efforts to administer COVID-19 vaccines started in January.
Hunter says their big focus is on community outreach. He says their facility partners with local churches and other community organizations to educate people about the vaccines and when they can schedule an appointment to get one.
“We are very mission-driven and mission-focused to serve the underserved,” said Hunter. “The East End is home to four of the six public housing communities, several individuals who are aging in place, and other newer communities and new individuals to the East End communities. We’re thinking about the needs of multiple generations and different types of individuals.”
Hunter says they’ve been fulfilling this demand by having their community partners help them fill time slots for shots.
“They typically will go out and source individuals for us,” he said. “They keep running waitlists and manage those waitlists for us so it makes it very easy for us to take the waitlist and call and schedule those individuals.”
Over the last three months, Hunter says they’ve helped about 2,500 people get a shot in their arm. A majority of these people have been African-American seniors from the East End.
With a recent drop in demand, Hunter says their outreach work continues to share information about the vaccines and coordinating with their partners to ensure that vaccines are available throughout the week for East End residents.
“In partnership with the other providers, we know there’s additional days in the East End for people to receive vaccines,” he said. “It’s very coordinated for us to work together to ensure there’s optimal access.”
The Market at 25th, a partner of the VCU Health Hub at 25th, will be holding a COVID-19 vaccine walk-up clinic on Saturday starting at 11 a.m.
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