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Federal program aims to vaccinate underserved populations, 2 Alabama clinics selected to participate

Updated: Feb. 20, 2021 at 10:50 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Joe Biden pledged to provide one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to community health centers nationwide and tens-of-thousands of those doses are expected to come to Alabama.

Cahaba Medical Care and Quality of Life Health Services are the two Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQHCs) in Alabama selected to be part of the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

The program aims to vaccinate “hard-to-reach and disproportionately affected populations,” according to information shared by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

FQHCs were selected based on the patients they serve with the focus on, “individuals experiencing homelessness, public housing residents, migratory and seasonal agricultural workers, and patients with limited English proficiency.”

Cahaba Medical Care has been offering COVID-19 vaccines to its patients since January using doses allocated by the state. The federal program will provide additional vaccines to clinics, not replace state allocation.

“Cahaba Medical Care’s mission for 17 years has been to provide access to exceptional healthcare for our neighbors in rural and urban areas, regardless of their ability to pay. Vaccinations for preventable diseases has been a big part of that service, and we are excited to be a part of this federal program to bring the coronavirus vaccine to our underrepresented patients, who have entrusted their care to us through the years, bringing this pandemic one step closer to its conclusion,” said Dr. John Waits, CEO, Cahaba Medical Care.

Dr. Waits is unsure how many does Cahaba Medical Care will receive through this program but expects to get those doses by March 1, when the program expands from 25 centers to 250 nationwide.

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