Adventist HealthCare has formed a partnership with CASA and the Latino Health Initiative to vaccinate 600 Montgomery and Prince George’s county Latinos per week at its Takoma Park facility, officials with the groups announced.
CASA will sign up 300 Prince George’s County residents, while “Our Health and Wellness” initiative (“Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar,”) will include 300 from Montgomery County, according to a press release.
“We need to make sure that we reach communities that have been hit especially hard by this virus. They need access to these life-saving vaccines,” said County Executive Marc Elrich in the release.
“Takoma Park welcomes the vaccine site,” said Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. “Partnerships like these are essential to help those who have been hit hard by this pandemic and address the disparities in access to vaccines.”
The Latino population in the area has been identified as a community that has experienced lower vaccination rates and higher death tolls during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to health officials.
Earlier this week, the Equity Committee of the Maryland Association of County Health Officers sent a letter to Dr. Jinlene Chan, the state’s acting deputy secretary for public health services asking the Department of Health to improve vaccine distribution equity.
Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County’s health officer and MACHO Health Equity Committee cochair, said in a press release, “Equity is important not just in terms of the number of doses provided but also in having a fair strategy to remove the barriers and obstacles that continue to prevent certain communities from getting access to health care, vaccinations and other support services that could help them achieve improved health outcomes.”