COVID-19 vaccine clinic reaches underserved community in east Columbus

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A COVID-19 vaccination event aimed at Columbus’ underserved communities was held inside Trinity Baptist Church Saturday.

The event featured representatives from Columbus Public Health and Equitas Health.

“There’s really no better way to do it than to come to the community to give COVID vaccines today,” said Oliva Nathan, a pharmacist with Equitas Health.

According to organizers, approximately 150 people received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during the clinic.

This was a community-wide event, aimed at bringing in Black and brown people from around the area who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“Black and brown folks, we have higher incidents of being hospitalized,” said Rev. Janet Sheppard of Trinity Baptist. “Also of death because we’re not getting vaccinated.”

According to local pharmacists, holding the event at the church provided them with a place many people trust coming to.

“We had people who were only comfortable here, not comfortable going elsewhere,” Nathan said. “So I think this has been a game changer, to really get shots in arms for the Black community.”

Sheppard said as a community-based church, they have an obligation to provide health and help to those around them, which is why she felt so strongly about participating in this vaccination effort.

 “In this zip code, this area, this community, part of our mission statement is to minister to those in this area,” she said.

Healthcare professionals said they administered the vaccine to a wide range of people from 20 years old up to 97 years old.

“I actually had the honor of vaccinating a Tuskegee Airmen, 97 years old, today,” Nathan said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, nearly 22 percent of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated.

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