State officials detail how they’re trying to reach underserved communities to achieve equitable COVID vaccine distribution in the First State.
"It is a priority for all of us to make sure that vaccination is distributed equitably with regards to all communities in our state." said Delaware Division of Public Health director Dr. Karyl Rattay, emphasizing the importance of reaching underserved communities.
To date, only 9 percent of the over 182,000 vaccine doses administered statewide went to Black residents and only 2 percent to Hispanic or Latino Delawareans.
The state is leaning on five pathways to change that - including federally qualified health centers like La Red in Sussex, Westside in New Castle and Kent, and Henrietta Johnson in Wilmington.
Rattay says fixed vaccination community sites are another part of the plan.
"That are in and easily accessible to underserved populations, especially for those who have trouble with transportation, trouble with traveling," said Rattay. "Our state service centers are possible locations for some of these, but also possibly community organizations and community centers."
The state would also like to use Curative sites like it does with testing and provider partnerships with hospitals.
Rotating community sites that include small pop ups in senior housing are part of the equation- as well as a bus called the Vax Machine as Governor Carney details.
"This is a partnership with CarePortMD. Taking vaccines into the community and hopefully providing another mechanism for getting more difficult populations to get vaccinated. we have a clinic happening at Rosehill Community Center," said Carney.
That first event at the Rose Hill Community Center will take place on Wednesday.
Rattay notes they’re also using focus groups to reach those with questions, and they’re engaging with community leaders including religious leaders, Black leaders, and Hispanic leaders.
The state is also providing multilingual toolkits to community organizations to help to better get the word out about vaccinations in all communities.