Pop-up vaccination clinics aim to reach underserved communities

A live DJ, classic cars, free food and free COVID-19 vaccines.

This was the scene at a pop-up vaccination clinic set up Saturday morning at Grant Park with the goal of encouraging and providing easy-to-access vaccines for the communities of districts 7 and 8 in Phoenix.

A row of canopies shaded a concrete path to the basketball gym where vaccination registrations had opened up at 8 a.m.

People stood in line under the shade — some with kids between ages 12 and 18 who had recently been green-lit for the Pfizer Vaccine.

Those over the age of 18 could choose which vaccine to take. The clinic had all three vaccines available: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ.

Vaccination through community collaboration

The event came together through a partnership between the Arizona Department of Health Services and the One Community Initiative of the Equality Health and Herozona Foundations.

The partnership grew out of COVID-19 testing events held earlier in the pandemic, Christ explained.

“We got a much better showing when it was trusted healthcare leaders from the community,” she said.

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South Phoenix Vaccination Sites Open Saturday for End of School Year Push

The Equality Health Foundation, HeroZona Foundation, Maricopa County, Arizona Department of Health Services and other community partners are excited to announce two additional vaccination events for underserved populations on Saturday, May 22. For families who live near downtown Phoenix, the Grant Park Recreation Center (701 S. 3rd Ave.) micro-POD site will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For families who live near the South Mountain area, the permanent vaccination site at South Mountain Community College (7050 S. 24th St.) will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During the events, children disproportionately affected by COVID-19 will have free access to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and adults will have access to either the Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccines. Imunizations will be administered by Adelante Healthcare. Nasal swab COVID-19 testing will also be provided courtesy of Sonora Quest Labratories.

“With such a resounding community turnout at our vaccine site launch for youth last week, we are excited to continue offering underserved communities a way to stay protected against COVID-19,” said Alan “AP” Powell, Chairman of AP & Associates – Strategic Alliances, U.S. Army Desert-Storm Veteran, and founder of HeroZona. “We encourage all family members to attend the events, learn about how the vaccine works, and get immunized together.”

“We need to continue encouraging people to get tested, practice prevention and get their vaccine if we’re going to reach community-wide immunity,” said said Tomás León, President of the Equality Health Foundation. “Ensuring access to these essential services in underserved communities is our top priority.”

The May 22 events will be the seventh and eighth held by the OneCommunity Initiative which focuses on reaching diverse, underserved communities, and aims to track demographic data to identify disparity gaps and ensure that the vaccines are distributed fairly and equitably. The first event was held at Cortez Park on March 13 followed by an event at Isaac Middle School on April 3. The third event was held on April 10 at South Mountain Community College, which is a permanent COVID-19 vaccination site. The fourth event was held at the Phoenix Sunnyslope Senior Center on April 17, the fifth at Isaac Middle School again on May 1, and the sixth, officially open for youth, at C.O. Greenfield Middle School on May 13. Information about additional events will be made available as soon as possible.

Vaccines will be available by appointment or walk-up for those 12 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 Walgreens, Arizona State University, City of Phoenix, City of Phoenix Police Department, City of Phoenix Fire Department, Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65, APS, Family Tree Healthcare, NAACP Arizona Conference & Maricopa County Branch, Black Philantrhopy Initiative, Black Chamber of Arizona, Greater Phoenix Urban League, African American Christian Clergy Coalition, Diana Gregory Outreach Services, 100 Black Men of Phoenix, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Phoenix Metropolitan Chapter, Macayo’s Mexican Food, National Panhellenic Council Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Forty Eight Foundation, Arizona Latin-American Medical Association, Maricopa County Public Health, Insurus Medicare Solutions and many more.

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Event Saturday, May 22, kicks off next phase of ADHS vaccine outreach in Phoenix

A pop-up vaccination clinic for kids and a neighborhood canvassing event Saturday, May 22, will launch the next phase of targeted outreach by Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and partners in underserved areas disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

To be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grant Park, 701 S. Third Ave. near downtown Phoenix, the event will kick off outreach that includes knocking on doors and distributing yard signs promoting COVID-19 vaccination. This outreach focuses on Phoenix City Council Districts 7 and 8, which cover neighborhoods east, south, and west of downtown Phoenix and include much of the Maryvale area.

In partnership with ADHS, the Equality Health and HeroZona foundations are organizing a children’s vaccination clinic at the event, continuing its One Community Initiative Against COVID-19. Kids 12 and older, along with their parents, are eligible for this free event. An event offering second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be held June 12 at the same park.

“Mass-vaccination sites have done a great job of getting limited supplies of vaccine into the community quickly and efficiently,” said ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. “Now, with vaccine readily available throughout the state, we will increase our focus on promoting vaccination at the neighborhood level in partnership with local health departments and other groups.”

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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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Good Morning America – Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis in Arizona

National coverage on ABC Good Morning America (GMA) of the COVID-19 testing in the community in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Expanding COVID-19 Testing to Cesar Chavez Park

News coverage of the largest free COVID-19 testing site expanding to impact more in the community.

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Expanding COVID-19 Testing

Coverage from KPNX NBC 12 of the expansion of free COVID-19 testing in the community.

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Heroes on the Front Line, Adding More Testing – Arizona Midday

Helping the community with access to free COVID-19 testing. KPNX NBC 12 Arizona Midday

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Helping the Community with COVID-19 Testing Sites

KSAZ Fox 10 coverage of COVID-19 testing expansion.

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Additional COVID-19 Testing Site Added

Media coverage by Arizona KPHO CBS 5.

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