Access to COVID-19 vaccines for vulnerable populations remains an ongoing problem, medical experts say, but a coalition of agencies in Calgary is reaching out to make a change, one injection at a time.
Be the YYC change, along with its partner agencies, is hosting a walk-in vaccination clinic at 316 7 Avenue SE.
The clinic will operate from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, at least until the end of November.
“We wanted to create one of the most equitable programs that really got to know a person with an informed approach to trauma,” said Chaz Smith, founder of Be the Change YYC.
“Someone who is hungry and thirsty needs to be fed and given water while receiving the vaccine.”
“We have vaccinated about 400 people since we started.”
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A street team of community workers also connects with the community, walking through downtown Calgary to hand out supplies, including food, water, warm clothing and sleeping bags.
“They are letting the homeless know that the clinic is open and that they can come here to get vaccinated as well,” Smith said.
Some Alberta medical experts say that access to vaccines for some remains an ongoing problem.
“The people we are seeing now are either unfortunate and marginalized, so they either did not have access to vaccines, or they actively decided that COVID does not exist,” said Dr. Darren Markland, ICU physician at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. .
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“Hospitals are filling up and surgeries are being canceled and we are simply doing our part to reduce the pressure on the healthcare system,” Smith said.
Smith said monetary or clothing donations can be made to Be the YYC change.
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