By ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — As vaccinations ramp up around the country, multiple cities are trying something new: Bringing the vaccine directly to vulnerable communities with mobile clinics.
Los Angeles’ mobile program, which started this week, is focused on reaching the neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19 infections and deaths, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. The goal is to expand the program as quickly as possible, including a rollout next week in South L.A.
“The mobile clinic program began delivering vaccines directly to the community, to those seniors who need to get this vaccine but can’t necessarily walk to or drive to a vaccination center,” Garcetti said during a Wednesday news briefing.
Fort Worth, Texas, similarly deployed mobile units this week to reach residents who might not have computers, internet or transportation.
“We’re trying to make sure we meet [people] where they are,” said Vinny Taneja, director of the Tarrant County Public Health, according to ABC News Fort Worth affiliate WFAA-TV.
And in the Bronx, nonprofit workers are knocking on doors in public housing complexes in an attempt to sign up older residents to get vaccinated.
“Putting up these websites and forums online, it’s just not for our low-income communities of color in these spaces,” Tomas Ramos, who founded the Bronx Rising Initiative, a COVID-relief nonprofit, told ABC News.
“It can 100% be replicated,” Ramos said. “And I will be a point person to help anybody that wants to replicate this, because this can be done anywhere around the country.”
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