SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — About 100 people got vaccinated Friday at City Church in Oak Park, but health officials admit there are just as many vaccine-hesitant people in Sacramento’s more vulnerable ZIP codes.
“You know, wanted to get it done a long time ago, but finally got it done. So that’s good,” said David Simpson.
Simpson was one of 100 people who got the first of two Moderna shots at City Church.
It was one of three pop-up clinics in Sacramento’s most vulnerable communities Friday.
“We have to make sure these vaccine sites are in communities that have the need,” said Mercy Medical Group Dr. J. Bianca Roberts. “So South Sacramento, Oak Park, Del Paso Heights are the communities that have been hit the hardest by COVID, but this is one of the first times we’re seeing a vaccine clinic in this area.”
Dr. Roberts spent Friday helping vaccinate 1,000 people at the Pannell Community Center in South Sacramento’s Meadowview neighborhood.
She said health and community leaders have been working hard to reach vaccine-hesitant groups.
“The patients were recruited from community-based organizations, so they’re really trusted partners who shared the information about the vaccine and got folks registered,” Dr. Roberts said.
She said often the biggest challenge is disinformation.
“In my own community, there’s obviously a history of medical distrust,” Dr. Roberts said. “A lot of folks know about the Tuskegee Experiment, so they’re pretty hesitant about coming in and getting vaccinated.”
Rachel Rios is the executive director of La Familia Counseling Center, another group that’s working in Sacramento communities to help more vulnerable people get vaccinated.
“It’s kind of complicated for anyone and you can imagine if you have a language barrier or don’t have access to all the digital devices, how do you sign up?” Rios said. “We know that there are some religious concerns on some of the vaccines and so we’re trying to address that. We’re working with our religious leaders to have them also communicate with community members.”
Specifically, Dr. Roberts said many are questions about the ingredients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“Yes, they should consult with their religious leaders, but also I think it’s OK to know that this vaccine does not have fetal cells in it,” Dr. Roberts said.
Vaccines are by appointment only at City Church. To schedule an appointment, call 916-349-6980.
More information on where to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Sacramento County can be found here.