Bay Area Community Health, a nonprofit health clinic operating in both Alameda County and Santa Clara County, is ramping up the number of COVID-19 vaccines it issues each week as supply increases, and is encouraging people who are eligible to sign up for an appointment.
The healthcare center has already administered just over 10,000 doses of the vaccine between its vaccination sites in San Jose and Fremont, and is currently receiving about 3,000 doses total each week to distribute from the two counties, according to Daniel Winokur, the clinic’s associate CFO.
“We’ve had six or seven straight weeks of scaling up” the number of doses administered based on available supply, Winokur said in an interview Monday.
“We want to vaccinate everyone in the community and we want to place special emphasis and special priority on the vulnerable groups that are hardest to reach,” Winokur said.
Those groups include people who are less likely to have access to healthcare, such as people who are poor, non-English speakers, homeless, or those who have less access to information through the internet or cell phones, Winokur said.
“All those people can get Covid, too. And (the health center) has worked really hard to have deep relationships with those folks where we’re really trusted,” he said.
The organization is making coordinated efforts to reach out to those groups of people to get them signed up for a vaccine, but is also administering doses to anyone above the age of 65 currently.
“It’s a public health crisis that affects the entire community. We have some breadth…and we feel we have a responsibility to add ourselves to the list of the other big folks, like the Kaisers, the Sutters, and the Stanfords, to stand up another vaccination point,” he said.
Appointments for a vaccine dose can be made through the health center’s website, bach.health/vaccine, based on availability in either Fremont or San Jose.
Appointments can also be scheduled by phone, by calling 510-770-8040 for an appointment in Fremont, or 408-729-9700 for an appointment in San Jose. For much of the pandemic, Bay Area Community Health has also been offering COVID-19 testing at rotating sites around the East Bay and South Bay.
The organization also provides healthcare services year-round to all people, whether a person has health insurance, regardless of their immigration status, and serves people in multiple languages.
Bay Area Community Health was born in 2020 out of the merger of the former Foothill Community Health Center and the former Tri-City Health Center.
Winokur said the centers have “for many years been the best kept secret” in local access to healthcare, but they currently have a roster of nearly 100,000 people they serve.
“I think a lot of people don’t know we’re here, but we do really fantastic and amazing service, and every human being deserves fantastic and amazing healthcare,” he said.
“This is a moment where we need to get real in our society. Everybody needs access to healthcare,” Winokur said, “and right now that means a vaccine, so let’s all step …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment
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