COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — For individuals with disabilities, transportation can often be a barrier between them and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pop-up clinics have been used throughout the pandemic to boost vaccination rates in underserved populations, and one central Ohio agency is helping create access for individuals that otherwise might not have it.
The clinic is hosted by the Center for Disability Empowerment and aims to increase vaccine accessibility for disabled individuals of any age.
Organizers said people with disabilities have often been forgotten about when discussing COVID-19 because many were given false information that created roadblocks and barriers.
In addition to first-time shots and boosters, vaccine recipients received kits with protective equipment like masks and hand sanitizer; they were also educated on other services the agency provides.
Because people with disabilities are among the most at risk for severe illness, organizers said the clinic is all about protecting our most vulnerable populations.
“People with disabilities were falling through the cracks. They didn’t know where to go, they were told that the vaccine would cost them a lot of money. They were given a lot of false information and roadblocks and barriers to the clinics that existed out there,” explains Shari Veleba with the Center for Disability Empowerment. “People with all types of disabilities have different learning modes and ways to understand about the vaccine, and a lot of that is overlooked when communicating about the vaccine and access to it.”
The Center for Disability Empowerment’s next pop-up clinic will be held Friday, May 13 at the Delaware District Library from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other clinic times and locations are below:
Delaware District Library
84 East Winter St. Delaware, OH 43015
Clinic 1: Friday, Mary 13th from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Clinic 2: Friday, June 17th from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Newark Public Library
101 West Main St. Newark, OH 43055
Clinic 2: Friday, June 3rd from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Richwood Public Library
4 E. Ottawa St. Richwood, OH 43344
Clinic 1: Thursday, May 19th from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Clinic 2: Thursday, June 23rd from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
-Northern Lights Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library
4093 Cleveland Ave. Columbus, OH 43224
Clinic 1: Friday, May 20 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Clinic 2: Saturday, June 25th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
-Driving Park Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library
1422 E. Livingston Ave. Columbus, OH 43205
Clinic 2: Friday, June 10th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.