With locations across NWA, Community Clinic centers will be the first in Arkansas to receive COVID-19 vaccines as part of a new federal distribution plan. Community Clinic will begin receiving 500 doses weekly after the initial shipment arrives in three to five weeks.
This is in response to the Biden Administration's announcement that community health centers across the country would receive direct shipments of the vaccine to help reach vulnerable populations.
Community Clinic serves more than 40,000 patients - over half of whom are Hispanic and another 3,000 are Marshallese. However, vaccine equity is becoming a growing concern as the vaccine is rolled out across the state. -NWA Democrat Gazette
Recent data has shown that communities of color are struggling to access COVID-19 vaccines due to lack of information in their spoken language, to a lack of health care providers such as hospitals and community pharmacies nearby. "We are recognizing there are weaknesses in the processes and procedures that have been implemented and are working on improving them," said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, the state's epidemiologist. -NWA Democrat-Gazette
Minority groups in the state including Blacks, Hispanics and Marshallese, have seen a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases, and public health experts say vaccine accessibility is crucial for herd immunity and social justice. Michelle Smith, ADH Office of Health Equity director, said that such issues have always existed, but the COVID-19 crisis is highlighting the disparities in these communities.