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Tulsa Health Department, Caring Van work to increase COVID-19 vaccine accessibility in minority communities

COVID-19 Vaccine
Posted at 7:54 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 07:58:22-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Health Department and the Oklahoma Caring Foundation are working together to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for minority communities in Tulsa County.

Mobile Caring Vans will offer the vaccine at several local churches and community centers serving predominantly minority residents, according to THD officials. The department said the vaccines will serve 80-120 individuals at mobile clinics.

THD said eligible residents include:

  • health care workers
  • first responders
  • adults age 65 and older

“The Oklahoma Caring Foundation has been a tremendous community partner for THD for more than 20 years, and we routinely work together to ensure equitable access to immunizations in Tulsa County,” said THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “We are pleased to partner with them to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents in low access areas in Tulsa County, especially in places where English may not be their native language."

THD said ensuring equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority for the department. According to THD officials, recent research shows disparities in both the number of COVID-19 cases and willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine among minority communities.

The department said it is working to remove barriers related to transportation and vaccine access by establishing vaccine events in collaboration with community organizations, faith communities, and similar partners.

“It is our mission to provide access to preventive health services, including vaccines. Our Foundation partners have made the commitment and investment in the community to build trust in our program. When our vans are present outside of a church or school, residents are familiar with who we are and what we do," said Oklahoma Caring Foundation Manager Amy Pulliam.

THD said the Caring Vans will be visiting the following locations next week, and will return on the appropriate date to administer second doses:

  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
  • Metropolitan Baptist Church
  • Antioch Baptist Church
  • New Jerusalem Baptist Church
  • Friendship Baptist Church
  • Tulsa Community Service Center

“We are planning to expand to additional locations as the supply of vaccine allows. Interested church or community organizations can contact the Oklahoma Caring Foundation through our website,” said Oklahoma Caring Foundation Manager Amy Pulliam.

For more information regarding vaccine availability in Tulsa County, click here. For more information about the Oklahoma COVID-19 Vaccine Plan, click here. To learn more about the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, click here.

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