Supporting Programs for Equitable Vaccine Distribution

Supporting Programs for Equitable Vaccine Distribution

FEMA released an update April 5, 2021 highlighting Federal efforts to improve equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Funds were allocated for staffing, supplies, training, and transportation in 42 states, Washington D.C. five tribes and five territories.  In addition, census data and the CDC social vulnerability index, were used to identify vulnerable populations to pilot Community Vaccine Centers, and Mobile Vaccine Distribution Units.
Connecticut is the first state in the country to deploy FEMA Mobile vaccination units to bring the vaccine to hard-to-reach populations. The mobile vaccination units have been assigned to 17 socially vulnerable communities around the state bringing access to people where they live and work.
In Massachusetts the Hynes Community Vaccination site was opened with interpreters available in Spanish, Mandarin, and Haitian/Creole and telephonic translation for 240 languages. The site can be reached by subway lines, and bus routes. Federally supplied vaccine doses will also be distributed via mobile units for areas of Chelsea, Revere and Boston.  
Rhode Island’s Hard-Hit Community Vaccination Strategy is increasing vaccination in communities of color and at high-risk of hospitalization and death. This program opened vaccine sites in collaboration with local community leaders based on COVID infection and hospitalization rates. Sites such as faith-based organizations, food pantries, housing authorities and community organizations are now hosting vaccination clinics.
Our churches can help get people vaccinated by hosting vaccine distribution sites in vulnerable communities. Contact your local Health care district or Public Health Department to see if your church might help in this area of need. The Federated Church in Colchester, CT is one SNEUCC congregation that opened their doors as a vaccination site in collaboration with the Chatham Health District. You can read about this project in a blog by Rev. Loren Lorincz.
People who are homebound due to illness, frailty, or disability also have reduced accessibility to vaccination. States have developed programs to address this gap.  Each state has a process to submit a home vaccination request on the state coronavirus response website. (See below for your state.)
We can all pitch in to advocate for communities of color and vulnerable populations by publicly distributing information from the CDC and local public health officials about vaccine safety, and by encouraging everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to protect the community. Stay informed, stay safe and stay well.
Connecticut Homebound Vaccination:
Rhode Island Homebound Vaccination:
Massachusetts Homebound Vaccination:  
FEMA Covid-19 Response Information: 

Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash


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Debbie Ringen

Debbie Ringen supports the Conference vision to make God’s love and justice real through wellness ministry at the Conference and local church level. In addition to providing resources, educational workshops, blogs and networking opportunities, she is...

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