BIPOC-focused booster clinics open Saturday in Burlington

Local News

BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Vermont Health Equity Initiative will reopen its COVID-19 BIPOC vaccine clinics in Chittenden County on Saturday, this time with a focus on booster shots.

The clinics were opened earlier this year as VHEI, the Vermont Department of Health and Community Health Centers of Burlington sought to close the racial vaccination gap.

In addition to boosters, the clinics will continue to provide first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine for everyone 12 and older. Clinics will be held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul on Cherry Street, the first will open on November 6 at 9 am.

“As we continue to host these clinics to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Black and brown communities, we progress closer to VHEI’s goal of eliminating racial disparities across healthcare,” said Vermont Health Equity Initiative’s Executive Director, Weiwei Wang. “The priority of these clinics is to create a safe and healthy environment in which BIPOC community members, undocumented community members, and non-English speakers can receive quality healthcare.”

VHEI is also planning to offer vaccinations for children 5 to 11 at the clinics soon, following the CDC’s approval last week.

As of October 28, 80.2 percent of BIPOC Vermonters age 12+ have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 81 percent of white, non-Hispanic Vermonters.

Belan Antensaye, VHEI Vice Chair, explained how the clinics have helped close that gap.

“It ended up being language interpretation throughout the whole process, it ends up being transportation support, it ends in being vaccinated and supported by people who look like you. The ultimate goal of the clinic is to have the least ‘clinical’ clinical that anyone could have and try to ameliorate some of those historic harms the BIPOC community has faced in healthcare.”

VHEI has staff openings for clinics this winter. For a full schedule of clinics, please visit their website.

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