Cahaba Medical Care is reaching out to vulnerable and underserved communities with COVID-19 vaccines

Getting vaccines to underserved communities

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Biden announced the launch of the Federally Qualified Health Center Program, which will provide more vaccines for community health centers. And as a part of this program, Cahaba Medical Care is reaching out to vulnerable and underserved communities in our area.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is personal for Carmen Mayes.

“This was my opportunity to not only protect myself, but also others in my community and for more selfish reasons, because I haven’t seen my best friends of 18 years in almost a year,” Mayes said.

She’s a substitute teacher and entrepreneur and said she believes in the science and also believes vaccines are part of basic health care, so she didn’t hesitate to roll up her sleeve.

“I think an important part of equitable health care requires us to participate,” Mayes said.

And equity is Cahaba Medical Care’s goal in distributing vaccines.

The health center is one of 175 federally qualified health care clinics in Alabama selected to administer vaccines to underserved populations.

“When we have a vaccine-preventable disease, equity in that distribution is absolutely critical. For example, underrepresented minorities are dying from COVID-19 at three times higher rate than other populations, so we need to get vaccines into our communities in an equitable way,” said CEO of Cahaba Medical Care, Dr. John Waits.

Dr. Waits said Cahaba Medical plans to place its first order of COVID-19 vaccines on March 1st and anticipates receiving the first federal allocation on March 8th.

It’s unclear how many doses will arrive in that shipment, but they will be divided among each of the 20 Cahaba Medical centers in our area.

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