From the moment a safe, effective vaccine became available, helping our patients access it has been a top priority. This work is essential: the zip code where most of our patients live (22204) has consistently experienced positive test rates of more than double that of any other zip code in our county. The majority of our patients have one or more serious health conditions like cancer or diabetes that place them at high risk of complications should they become infected. Almost all work in “frontline” sectors, such as foodservice and child/eldercare. Their crowded living situations make it difficult, if not impossible, to self-isolate if exposed. And, they are often on the wrong side of the increasingly important “digital divide”—lacking access to the technology, connectivity, and the digital literacy/language skills necessary to navigate online appointment systems.
We’ve been helping our patients and the broader low-income Arlington community (in April, we began also helping low-income, non-AFC clients referred by the county and local nonprofits) understand and access vaccines. As of mid-April, AFC has hosted 21 COVID-19 vaccine clinics and provided 1,668 doses. We plan to continue holding 2-3 weekly vaccine clinics and giving 60-100 doses per clinic.
Each vaccine clinic requires over 30 volunteers! One weekend in March, the roster included four board members, our retired grant writer, the sister of a staff member, and brand-new volunteers who reached out just the week prior upon learning of our need for Spanish-speakers. These joined the ranks of nurses, doctors, and interpreters who have been part of the AFC team for years.
Read our entire 2021 Spring Newsletter
Coming to the Table: Addressing Food Insecurity During the Pandemic
Patient Story: Maria
Letter from the President: Arlington Free Clinic’s Role in Ensuring Vaccine Equity
Recognizing Jim Cole, President & CEO of Virginia Hospital Center, Friend of AFC
Transitioning to a Post-COVID-19 World Through a Mix of Virtual & Onsite Care
COVID-19: Year in Review
Spring 2021 Updates