Columbus reaching into minority communities as COVID-19 vaccine eligibility increases

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Thousands of people are getting vaccinated at the state fairgrounds every day.

Columbus Public Health is also taking the vaccine out to certain areas of the community in an effort to make the vaccine accessible to everyone. 

Leaders with Columbus Public Health said it’s all about making people feel comfortable and making it easier for them to get the vaccine.  

La Plaza Tapatia wasn’t just a grocery store Monday, it was also the site of a vaccine clinic. 

After getting her first dose of the covid-19 vaccine, Sofia Martinez said she felt good. She was one of about 200 people to get the shot at La Plaza Tapatia, a grocery store on Columbus’ west side. 

Martinez said she lives on the west side and it was very easy for her to get to the store for her shot.

That’s part of the reason behind Columbus Public Health’s efforts. CPH held a community outreach vaccine clinic in a separate part of the store.

Mayor Andrew Ginther and Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts stopped by the clinic, with Roberts saying with Monday’s clinic, CPH wanted to get the vaccine to people in the Latino community

“It’s a comfort level, and that’s what we’ve heard a lot from the community, that individuals in our community want to go to a location that they’re familiar with and they’re comfortable with and they trust,” Roberts said. “And so this is a location for the Latino community they’re familiar with.”

“Already had COVID experience in November as you hear before and she did not want to go through that again,” Martinez said through an interpreter.

This was the third outreach clinic CHP has held, but the first for the Latino community. There were Spanish-speaking medical providers like the one who gave Martinez her shot, as well as interpreters.

People are signed up through community outreach ahead of time. According to Roberts, the clinics help get the vaccine to communities COVID-19 has hit the hardest.

“We came to them, as opposed to expecting everyone to come to us,” she said. “The operation we have at the Celeste Center is great, but we realize it’s not for everyone and we have to meet people where they are.”

Everyone who got their first shot on Monday was scheduled for their second, which will also be administered at the supermarket.

Roberts said there will likely be more clinics at the store as well as in other communities

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