James Douglas, 66, of Sacramento, admits he is one of those most at-risk for COVID-19. The resident of Globe Mills, an affordable apartment complex for seniors, took precautions by limiting his outings and wearing masks. He acknowledges that still came at a cost. Not seeing family and friends in person made him feel isolated. Even then, he still had concerns about being immunized.
“To be honest, I still wasn’t sure about getting the vaccine,” he said. “But now that I have my first shot, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why did I wait?’”
As more attention turns toward equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution, various agencies and providers are teaming up to make a difference for those most vulnerable to the virus.
Most recently Sutter Health joined Sacramento County, Globe Mills and Francis House, a support agency offering services and housing solutions for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Through this collaboration, Sutter helped vaccinate approximately 100 tenants and clients of Globe Mills and Francis House during their first on-site clinic at Francis House.
“Barriers still remain when it comes to accessing COVID-19 vaccinations, whether that is transportation or overall vaccine hesitancy,” said E. Scott “Skip” Rosenbloom, M.D., co-developer of Globe Mills. “Each of our organizations plays an important role in designing clinics or education that can clear paths for vaccination in our communities.”
The Centers for Disease Control identified those ages 65 and above as some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19. The CDC also stresses the importance of vaccination for people experiencing homelessness. Homeless services are often provided in congregate settings, which could facilitate the spread of infection, including infection caused by the virus that causes COVID-19.
Sutter will continue working with community health partners across Northern California to set up clinics and other efforts through the spring.
“By collaborating with trusted gatekeepers like Francis House and Globe Mills, we can help close the gaps that exist when it comes to vaccinating those most vulnerable,” said Vaughn Williams, director of strategic initiatives for Sutter Valley Medical Foundation.