Community Partners Announce First Permanent COVID-19 Vaccine Site for Underserved Populations

The Equality Health Foundation in partnership with the HeroZona Foundation, Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65, African American Christian Clergy Coalition and more are excited to announce that a permanent micro-Point of Dispensing (POD) vaccine site will launch at the Gymnasium Fitness Center of community partner South Mountain Community College (7050 S. 24th St.) on Saturday, April 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the event, individuals of color disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in one of Arizona’s most underserved zip codes, 85040, will have free access to the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine administered by Walgreens, coronavirus nasal swab testing by Sonora Quest Laboratories and food boxes provided by a variety of community partners.

“Last July, thanks to our partnership with South Mountain Community College and other public and private organizations, we were able to launch the largest coronavirus testing location in the country and saw how much pain and suffering the pandemic brought to African-Americans in our community,” said Alan “AP” Powell, Chairman of AP & Associates – Strategic Alliances, U.S. Army Desert-Storm Veteran, and founder of HeroZona. “It was then that we vowed to do everything possible to help them survive. Now, we’re making a full circle to provide them with a better chance of fighting this virus and finding normalcy again.”

This is the third event to launch under the One Community Initiative, which targets diverse, underserved neighborhoods and aims to track demographic data to identify disparity gaps and ensure that Arizona distributes the vaccine fairly and equitably. The first event launched at Cortez Park on March 13, and the second at Isaac Middle School on April 3. An additional announcement will be made about the days and hours of operation for this permanent micro-POD site at South Mountain Community College, among other locations.

“We have seen that for a variety of reasons, including lack of communication, resources and access, many Black and Hispanic people in Phoenix are not receiving their vaccine,” said Tomás León, interim CEO of the Equality Health Foundation. “Our goal is to address the mistrust that people of color have regarding immunizations and healthcare by providing relevant education that dispels these perceptions and myths, and staff our sites with volunteers and employees who reflect the communities we are serving.”

One thousand vaccines will be available by appointment on a first-come first-serve basis based on need for those 18 and older, including frontline and essential workers. For more information and to register, those interested can call the bilingual service line at 888-587-3647.

The community event is supported in part by Arizona Department of Health Services, Maricopa County, City of Phoenix Fire Department, City of Phoenix Police Department, United States Representative for Arizona’s 7th District Ruben Gallego, Arizona State District 27 Senator Rebecca Rios, Arizona State District 27 Representative Reginald Bolding, Arizona State District 27 Representative Diego Rodriguez, Maricopa County District 5 Supervisor Steve Gallardo, City of Phoenix District 8 Councilmember Carlos Garcia, the NAACP Arizona State Conference, Grand Canyon University, Roosevelt Elementary School District, Arizona Latin-American Medical Association, the Greater Phoenix Urban League, the Black Chamber of Arizona, 100 Back Men of Phoenix, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Phoenix Chapter, the Black Philanthropy Initiative, the Arizona Coalition for Change, Forty-Eight Foundation, National Pan-Hellenic Council Phoenix Metro Chapter and many more public and private stakeholders.

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