DENVER (CBS4) – A select number of community health centers across the country will receive direct delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine starting next week. Denver Health, Stride, and Salud Family health centers have been approved for the federal program, which expands from week to week and eventually includes all 1,300 across the country.
Each center caters to some of the most vulnerable populations, and the vaccines they receive must go to those patients.
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Salud Family Health Centers have long focused their care on communities that are typically underserved and have continued that focus throughout the pandemic.
“We are really missionary and ready to serve. It was emotional for all of us, ”said Elva Medina, Vice President of Operations at Salud.
In addition to providing daily health services in communities with low access, they are part of several health care providers that distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Right now we’re ordering 300 or 500 for each clinic and waiting to see what is actually assigned to us. Sometimes it’s zero, sometimes it’s all we have ordered,” said Medina.
While the state grant has allowed them to administer 15,000 doses, they are receiving additional help as part of the federal community health center’s vaccination program.
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“These vaccines will be specially delivered and delivered directly to health centers and are intended to be used specifically for patients in health centers,” said John Santistevan, CEO of Salud.
According to Santistevan, the program is an attempt to make vaccine distribution fairer and to shoot into the arms of the most vulnerable and vulnerable populations.
“Community health centers, this is our target audience. They assume we’re going to do a really good job, and we already have these patient lists,” he said.
The hope for them is better access to the vaccine, which means faster and more efficient distribution.
“I would hope that this will allow us to vaccinate a lot more people,” said Medina.
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Santistevan says the more cans that come into the state, the better for everyone. Direct delivery for their patients means they can use government-assigned doses for anyone entitled to schedule an appointment with Salud.