UPDATE: Community Partners Launching COVID-19 Vaccine Sites for Underserved Populations

Posted By on March 1, 2021

UPDATE: The first vaccination site launched by this effort took place on March 13 in west Phoenix.

The Equality Health Foundation, the HeroZona Foundation, Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 and African American Christian Clergy Coalition are teaming up to provide new COVID-19 vaccine sites in Phoenix this spring.

These community events will be located in diverse, underserved communities. HeroZona and Equality Health Foundation also launched the nation’s largest free COVID-19 testing site in July of last year and continue offering testing and wrap-around services to more than 35,000 individuals. Vaccinations at these sites will be facilitated by Panda Pediatrics and Adolescent Care, Passport Health, and other healthcare partners. 

The coalition of partners believes a community-based Point of Dispensing (POD) system is critical to ensuring all individuals disproportionately affected by coronavirus get prioritized access to the vaccine. Under this framework, it will be a high priority to track demographic data to identify disparity gaps and guarantee that Arizona is distributing the vaccine in a fair and equitable way. This vaccine needs to be handled incredibly carefully with the correct LabTAG vaccine labels that can withstand the freezing temperatures in which it is stored, so that the individuals in need can access this vaccine safely.

“Our emerging strategic alliance is actively working with state and local governments to implement this model in communities hardest hit by this pandemic,” said Tomás León, Interim CEO of the Equality Health Foundation. “Because of the lack of communication, resources, and access, many Black and Hispanic people in Phoenix are not receiving their vaccine. We hope to break down barriers to create greater access for these vulnerable populations.”

The first phase of the model will be a public awareness campaign that dispels perceptions and myths regarding the vaccine in hopes of educating community members on the benefits of getting immunized. Next, the partners will address obstacles in accessing existing state-run POD sites by helping vulnerable minority populations register for their doses. Finally, the coalition will activate community-based micro-POD vaccination sites in minority communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The official activation date is still pending. Once the site is active, the coalition will work with various hiring agencies and community-based organizations to employ volunteers and staff that reflect the communities they are serving. 

“During Black History Month, myself and other leaders across black and brown communities have come together to discuss how we can better support the members of our neighborhoods at high-risk,” said Alan “AP” Powell, Chairman of AP & Associates – Strategic Alliances, U.S. Army Desert-Storm Veteran, and founder of HeroZona. “Research shows that minorities are getting vaccinated at a slower rate than other populations, and we want to change that. We will provide the vaccine as well as other resources to help underserved populations in Phoenix stay safe against coronavirus.”

The community event is supported in part by United States Representative for Arizona’s 7th District Ruben Gallego, Arizona State District 27 Representative Reginald Bolding, Maricopa County District 5 Supervisor Steve Gallardo, City of Phoenix District 8 Councilmember Carlos Garcia, the NAACP Arizona State Conference, 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 Arizona Coalition for Change, Forty-Eight Foundation, National Pan-Hellenic Council Phoenix Metro Chapter and many more public and private stakeholders.

HeroZona Foundation has launched various community programs including Phoenix Tools 4 School, The Bridge Forum, Holiday Bike Giveaways, MLK Celebrating the Dream, Play It Forward: Engaging Our Youth Through the Arts, Veterans Reach to Teach and the HeroZona Forgotten Heroes Breakfast.


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