Scientists from the University of California, At San Diego School of Medicine have initiated a clinical education campaign in San Diego County to get COVID-19 vaccinations to Latinx and African American communities. A $3 million funding from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Inequalities, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is funding Operation 2VIDA! (SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Intervention Administration for Adults in Southern California) (NIH).
2vida: A Program that Addresses Covid Vaccine Apprehension in Latinx and Black Populations
COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Latinx and African American populations, who face additional challenges in getting the vaccine. Project 2VIDA will investigate the individual consumer, societal, and contextual aspects that lead to health inequities, as well as actively teach the community about vaccination security. This program will help them get vaccines and stay safe against the spread of the virus.
Servin and her colleagues have teamed up with San Ysidro Health to put up pop-up immunization clinics in largely African American and Latino communities with a higher incidence of COVID-19 cases. San Ysidro, National City, Chula Vista, Logan Heights, Lincoln Park, and Valencia Park are among the areas affected.
Guests to the pop-up clinic in San Ysidro receive COVID-19 immunizations from Project 2VIDA said the staff handling the project.
Staff delivers COVID-19 vaccines to visitors of the pop-up clinic in San Ysidro. Credit: UC San Diego Health Sciences “We catch people during their lunch breaks, or while they run errands with their kids,” Servin said. “By coming to them, we’re not only making the vaccine as accessible as possible, but we’re also showing these communities that we respect and care about them.”
The pop-up workshops are held 2 or 3 times a week at different sites throughout the state and provide free COVID-19 vaccinations and screening, as well as Hiv treatment and diabetes and heart rate checks. Face masks, antimicrobial gel, and thermometers are also distributed by the SYHealth crew.
“When someone comes to us, we want to provide all the services we can,” said Servin. Project 2VIDA! Staff includes bilingual peer health educators who help visitors navigate free transportation services, food security programs, local urgent care, and other resources they may be eligible for.
“Through our collaboration with UC San Diego, SYHealth has been able to expand COVID-19 vaccination with care to our community to meet them where they are,” said Fatima Muñoz, MD, MPH, associate vice president of Health Support Services at San Ysidro Health. “Our community has recognized our SYHealth mobile unit and they trust in our team. Now with the support of Project 2VIDA! We will continue facilitating access to the vaccine and expanding other COVID-related services.”
At a pop-up immunization location, the Mission 2VIDA! and SYHealth teams meet. Medical Sciences at UC San Diego
The program would gather information on health inequalities and vaccination reluctance in addition to giving COVID-19 shots. Users to the websites are asked to fill out a survey about any vaccination fears, medical data resources they respect, and wellness hurdles they’ve encountered, among other things. Doctors’ approaches to care providers will be guided by this data in the future.
“We’re hearing concerns about what’s in the vaccine if it was rushed, and misconceptions about its effects on health and fertility,” said Raquel Rocha, lead research assistant for Project 2VIDA!. “It’s been so valuable to answer people’s questions face-to-face and in our native language.”
Pop-up immunization sites are scheduled for Sept 3 at the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce and Sept 7 at the Northgate Gonzalez Market on University Avenue, as well as collaboration with the American Legion to benefit African American vets on Sept 9.