HAILEY, Idaho — Dr. Julie Lyons, physician at St. Luke’s Wood River Family Medicine Clinic, noticed more and more unvaccinated Latinos were being hospitalized for severe COVID-19 in the fall.
After consulting with her colleagues and Latino leaders, they found a space where Latinos in the area consistently gathered. St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. By collaborating with the local church, outreach clinics were organized to provide the community with COVID-19 facts and access to primary vaccines or booster doses.
“We know this is just a start to helping some of the undeserved populations,” Lyons said. “I think there's a lot of misinformation and also lack of opportunity to get information and vaccines to some of our rural and undeserved communities.”
The outreach clinics received a positive response from the community.
“A lot of our Latino families go to these churches, these are people that we take care of their whole families,” Dr. Lyons said. “Lots of smiles and ,you know, great connections.”
Next, they hope to provide pediatric vaccines and potentially reach areas like apartment complexes with a high volume of Latino patients. Working time is a barrier that impacts the ability to access clinics during business hours, and by bringing the vaccine to the community that barrier can be reduced.
The date for the next outreach vaccine clinic is not yet confirmed. But individuals can visit the clinic or text their zip code to 438829 (GETVAX) to find a vaccine location near them. Para español, envíe un mensaje de texto con su código postal a 822862 (VACUNA).