Many San Diegans are still having trouble setting up vaccine appointments. To help relieve the issue, Governor Gavin Newsom’s office is partnering with local churches and community groups to get the vaccines to people of color who still face barriers.
One thousand people were vaccinated at a drive-thru site in Lincoln Park on Saturday. The partners were able to obtain doses from the State of California. A separate appointment line was set up in hopes of breaking down language and technology barriers. UC San Diego Health administered the shots.
“We got our shot,” said Wilfredo Mack as he held up his vaccine card.
Mack says he hates needles, but he thinks getting vaccinated is the right thing for his community.
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable going out. And not only for us, but for other people,” said Mack.
The vaccination site was hosted by the City of Hope International Church. Many of the people who were vaccinated said they heard about the site through their pastor, or through a friend. The word-of-mouth outreach made the experience more comfortable for some people.
“Southeast San Diego and these zip codes have been the hardest hit and many people were apprehensive about who was asking them to get vaccinated, so when you get faith based leaders, it helps,” said Francine Maxwell, President of the NAACP, San Diego Chapter.
“My pastor’s wife was very instrumental in getting members of the congregation the vaccine,” said Elizabeth Fuller, a San Diego Resident who had just received her shot.
The zip code where the clinic was held, has a COVID-19 case rate of 8.1, one of the highest in the City of San Diego. Health leaders want to reduce the rate of coronavirus, and also help the community live healthier long term.
“We still have diabetes and hypertension that’s killing our people,” said Suzanne Afflalo, M.D.
“The vaccine is one thing but we still need to take care of their basic health needs,” Afflalo added.
Afflalo and other health partners are teaming up for a health fair at the Jackie Robinson YMCA in City Heights on April 7. There will be free covid-19 vaccines, covid-19 testing and other health resources like diabetes screening and mammograms.
For vaccine appointments email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (619) 633-7977.