The Journal Gazette
 
 
Friday, April 09, 2021 1:00 am

Vaccine Week to kick off

Agencies work together to help underserved residents

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

Pastor Robert Bell of Fort Wayne's True Love Baptist Church has a message for a somewhat larger flock: Don't worry about getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I've had both my shots since February, and I'm still here. So that's a good sign,” the 67-year-old said Thursday afternoon.

Bell spoke as one of a half-dozen community leaders from south-side Fort Wayne who helped launch Vaccine Registration Week – an effort to break down barriers keeping residents from getting potentially lifesaving immunizations.

The week, which begins Saturday and ends April 17, has been planned by a coalition of more than 20 nonprofit organizations, churches, businesses and community volunteers.

The coalition aims to address a lag in vaccinations among the city's minority populations – Blacks, Asians, Hispanics – and those who are underserved when it comes to health care, said Sharon Tubbs, director of HealthVisions Midwest, a convener of the coalition.

Volunteers will be stationed during the week at south-side locations to distribute information about vaccines and help people who want to be immunized get registered and follow through on their appointments.

In some places, Spanish and Burmese translation services will be offered. Internet access and guidance will be available, and people who need free transportation will be connected to it.

Some sites also will offer food giveaways.

“Our goal is not to coerce people into taking a vaccine but to ensure they have adequate information and access to make the best choices for themselves and their families,” Tubbs said.

As part of a vaccine awareness campaign, the coalition will release locally produced public service television announcements. They feature people from the local Black community who talk about their reasons for, and experiences with, getting vaccinated.

The spots were a collaboration with Blacklight Media of Fort Wayne and funded through a grant from the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and the Foellinger Foundation.

One frequently cited barrier is a lack of transportation, said Justin Clupper, executive director of the Community Transportation Network.

He said the network will provide free specialized transportation to vaccination sites – for those using a wheelchair, for example. The network also will help others arrange four free rides to and from appointments through a service provided by Uber.

Bell said a dozen churches will participate as sites. So will a Muslim community center serving refugees from Myanmar, formerly Burma.

Tubbs said people do not need to live on the south side of Fort Wayne to participate. More information is available by calling 260-745-1600 or checking healthvisionsfw@hvusa.org.

Allen County on Thursday reported 88 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths to bring the totals to 38,473 and 666.

Statewide, 1,397 cases and 16 new deaths were reported Thursday, for a total of 694,836 cases and 12,710 deaths. Another 404 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record.

The state now has 1,321,876 fully vaccinated people, with 64,187 from Allen County.

rsalter@jg.net

Vaccination registration locations

Saturday

6:30 to 9:30 a.m.: Community Harvest Food Bank, Tillman Road (Spanish and Burmese interpreters, food distribution)

8 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Unity Barber Shop, 921 E. Pontiac St.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Jerrell's Barber Shop, 2104 S. Clinton St.

Noon to 2 p.m.: Burmese Muslim Education and Community Center, 2121 Seddlemeyer Ave. (Burmese interpreter, food distribution)

Noon to 4 p.m.: Villages of Hanna Apartments, 2177 Eden St.; Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, 2340 Fairfield Ave.

5 to 7 p.m.: American Legion Post 148, 705 E. Lewis St.

Sunday

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Tabernacle Baptist Church, 3404 Chestnut St.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Come as You Are Community Church, 7910 S. Anthony Blvd.

Noon to 12:30 p.m., 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: New Life Lutheran Church, 2424 Coliseum Blvd. S. (Burmese interpreter)

Noon to 4 p.m.: Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church; Villages of Hanna apartments

12:30 p.m.: New Covenant Worship Center, 3420 E. Paulding Road

After service: Joshua's Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 4202 Hessen Cassel Road; True Love Baptist Church, 715 E. Wallace St.

Monday

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.: Renaissance Pointe YMCA, 2323 Bowser Ave.

Noon to 3 p.m.: Wayne Township Trustee's Office, 320 E. Superior St. (Burmese and Spanish interpreters, food distribution)

Noon to 4 p.m.: Villages of Hanna apartments; Tamera Senior Villas, 7045 John St.

6 to 8 p.m.: Tabernacle Baptist Church, 3404 Chestnut St.

Tuesday

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Associated Churches, 602 E. Wayne St. (Spanish interpreter)

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 8 p.m.: Renaissance Pointe YMCA (Spanish interpreter)

Wednesday

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Community Baptist Church, 3032 Smith St.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 8 p.m.: Renaissance Pointe YMCA (Spanish interpreter)

1 to 5 p.m.: Clinica Madre de Dios, behind St. Patrick Catholic Church, 2120 S. Harrison St. (Spanish interpreter)

Thursday

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Renaissance Pointe YMCA

5 to 8 p.m.: El Paraiso supermarket, 4101 Hessen Cassel Road (Spanish interpreter)

April 16

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Renaissance Pointe YMCA

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: St. Peter Catholic Church, 518 E. DeWald St. (Community Harvest Farm Wagon food distribution)

April 17

6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Community Harvest Food Bank, Tillman Road (Spanish and Burmese interpreters, food distribution)


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