Community leaders work to bridge the gap in Alabama areas lacking access to COVID-19 vaccines
(Editor’s note: This story was originally published March 19, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT - Updated March 20 at 3:47 AM on www.waff.com)
MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (Great Health Divide) - Community leaders in the Shoals are working to bridge the gap in communities that lack access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Colbert County leaders are worried about their impoverished and rural residents who may not live near a vaccine provider.
“We want to take the vaccinations to places where maybe it’s not convenient for people to get to a vaccine site. Maybe they don’t have transportation. We’re going to low income housing. We’re going to go to communities where maybe we wouldn’t have as much of a high response rate,” said County Commissioner Tori Bailey.
Those leaders are bridging the divide with a $500,000 grant to purchase a trailer to be used as a mobile vaccine clinic.
“The idea is to make it available and accessible to those who are most vulnerable,” said Bailey.
Florence City Council Pro Tempore Kaytrina Simmons said West Florence needs more vaccines.
She said the city’s most vulnerable live there in district one, and that a vaccine clinic needs to be set up there.
Community member Lasondra Stanford thinks so too.
“For those who do not have access to vehicles and stuff, I think it’s easy access to the handy center and with the neighborhood and the apartments that are on that side of town, it’ll be easy access to them,” said Standford.
Right now, the closest vaccine to west Florence is at UNA.
Councilwoman Simmons is working with the Lauderdale County EMA and several other entities to change that.
Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.
Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group. All rights reserved.