RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Church leaders in Richmond are partnering with local health districts to get COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable people in their communities.
Second Baptist Church, in South Richmond, and First African Church, in North Richmond, were both vaccination sites Saturday. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the churches’ efforts are part of an attempt to ﬁnd new strategies to reach segments of the community that may not have access to information or to transportation to get vaccinated.
The events are not open to the public. Faith community leaders work with the health departments to identify, register and then vaccinate people most at risk.
About 500 people are set to be vaccinated at these smaller event through this week at sites in the Richmond and Henrico health districts. They’ll all be invited back for a second shot in a few weeks.
“We’re really trying different strategies to be intentional with communities of color… and engaging pre-existing networks (that are) best positioned to reach out to their most vulnerable,” said Amy Popovich, a nurse manager.
Second Baptist Church pastor Ralph Steven Hodge said this new partnership is one way of targeting not just people who haven’t had access, but also reaching out to some who may be skeptical about getting vaccinated.
“When your pastor calls and tells you to come . we’re credible messengers,” he said.