INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis and the Marion County Health Department announced during a live press conference Thursday with Mayor Joe Hogsett that they would be opening mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics starting Friday.
The effort is to make vaccines more accessible to underserved communities.
The first four mobile vaccines site will be in partnership with the following organizations through April:
- Eastern Star Church in partnership with IU Health — March 26 and 27
- Light of the World Christian Church, New Era Church, Greater Shepherd Baptist Church, Providence AME Church and Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in partnership with IU health — date TBA
- The Consulate of Mexico in Indianapolis in partnership with Eli Lilly — date TBA
- Riverside Park in partnership with Eli Lilly & Flanner House — date TBA
The first four mobile vaccination sites will partner with "Resolve to Save Lives" to award $1 million in grants to community organizations working to address disparities in health and economic wellbeing in Marion County, as well.
“Historically underserved populations have borne a disproportionate share of the health and economic consequences of the pandemic. And through programs like our Spanish-language vaccine appointment call center this weekend, or the COVID Community Ambassador program, we have tried to remove barriers for these groups to access the vaccine,” Mayor Hogsett stated in a release. “We are in this together. For our city to truly thrive, it means every neighborhood must also thrive.”
Beginning April 1, community-based organizations in Marion County can submit applications for projects that promote the wellness and recovery of minority communities that have been hardest hit by the virus and its economic impacts. The average grant award is expected to be $25,000, but mini-grants as low as $2,500 will also be available for smaller projects. Applications will be due by April 15, with awards to be announced on April 26.
More information, including the application process, will be announced soon, according to the MCPHD.
“With these new efforts, it is our aim to ensure those most impacted by the COVID-19 virus have access to the lifesaving protections offered by the vaccine, as well as the community-based support and resources they may need,” Dr. Virginia Caine, the MCPHD's director and chief medical officer, stated. “For now, we all must continue to wear a mask, wash our hands, and watch our distance if we are to enjoy long-term economic recovery and return to the activities we love and have missed over the last year.”
Appointments for the Eastern Star Church clinic have all been filled at the time of this initial report. WRTV will let you know when we learn the dates for the other upcoming clinics.