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Outreach clinics in Columbia scheduled to help break down barriers for vaccine-hesitant communities


Vaccine outreach clinics are in place to help make the coronavirus vaccine more available to underserved communities.

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department held an event Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church specifically for the Spanish-speaking community.

"We thought it was important to make sure we have an outreach clinic for them just because a language barrier can be so difficult," said Sara Humm, spokeswoman for the health department.

Humm said there were staff members and nurses at the event that spoke Spanish and assisted those who needed it through the vaccination process.

According to the state dashboard, about 28% of the Hispanic and Latino community has initiated vaccination and 16% has completed the vaccination process. The clinic Saturday vaccinated 117 members of this group.

Reverend James Gray has partnered with Burrell Pharmacy for an outreach vaccination clinic Sunday at St. Luke United Methodist Church from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Gray said they are set to give out 200 doses and currently only have 85 appointments filled. With appointments still open, Gray said no one will be turned away at the door.

The church setting is important for many people in this area, according to Gray. "Churches are a trust factor," he said.

He is aware of the vaccine hesitancy and wants to continue these events specifically to make members of the Black community more comfortable and more informed about the vaccines.

"We're also going to have some counselors here to work through the anxiety part of it because there is a lot of anxiety that's going on with this right now," said Gray.

The state dashboard shows that the vaccinations for the Black and African American group stands at about 11% who have finished the vaccination process.

Gray said the goal for Sunday is to make sure people are not only getting the vaccines, but making sure they are comfortable and know exactly what they are putting into their bodies.

To schedule an appointment for Sunday contact Rev. Gray at 573-823-7206 or

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department also has been in communication with local partners who work with immigrants and refugees to find ways to set up vaccinations for those populations, as well as clinics for those with geographical barriers.

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


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