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How vaccination clinics are starting to trickle into underserved Sacramento neighborhoods

Sacramento County officials say they are working with community-based organizations to help spread the word about pop-up clinics in new a targeted approach.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — After Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week that 40% of the state's vaccine allocations will go to the state's hardest-hit communities, ABC10 found areas like South Sacramento and Oak Park, still had no clinics. 

And while Sacramento County doesn't have a set list of clinics for those underserved communities just yet, they say they are working with community-based organizations to help spread the word about pop-up clinics in a targeted approach.

Two are happening on Friday, March 12.

Weekly vaccination clinic in Oak Park

  • Location: City Church of Sacramento
  • Time: Fridays from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Call 916-349-6980 to book an appointment, no walk-ups allowed 

It was less than a month ago when Pastor Mark Meeks realized there was a gaping hole in his own community of Oak Park. 

"Just feeling somewhat depressed that vaccinations weren't taking place in the communities that are nearest and dearest to my heart," Meeks said.

He reached out to his city Councilman Jay Schenirer for help, who connected him with UC Davis and within a couple of weeks, they made plans for a weekly vaccine clinic at the City Church of Sacramento every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"This is what we should have been doing and I'm just happy that we are now doing it and we need to do more of it," he said.

For the first round of now fully booked appointments, he did on-the-ground work, going door to door, helping eligible people sign up, targeting only the 95817 and 95820 zip codes.

"We have longed to be in this position to be able to provide community health access, education access, all of those opportunities that somehow, someway, tends to not make it to this community," he said. 

If you live in the 95817 or 95820 Oak Park zip codes and you qualify to get a vaccine within the state's tier system, you can call 916-349-6980 to make an appointment. They are not accepting any walk-ins.

South Sacramento pop-up clinic

  • Location: Pannell Community Center 
  • Time: Friday, March 12 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Call La Familia Counseling Center directly at 916-990-1311 to book an appointment

In South Sacramento, Councilwoman Mai Vang partnered with about 14 different community-based organizations to do intentional outreach for their own pop-up clinic where they're planning to vaccinate 1000 people at the Pannell Community Center on Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"Community-based organizations, we know our communities, we are in touch with our communities, we just want to help, we want to be able to connect people to where those vaccines are, it is confusing for all of us to know where's the pop-up, how do I get vaccinated?" Rachel Rios, Executive Director of La Familia Counseling Center said.

Rios says each organization was given a certain number of appointment slots they can fill.  

"They really wanted us to do some intentional outreach to reach those folks that have been most marginalized, we know that Latinos have had higher rates of COVID, but we also know that Pacific Islanders have had disproportionate rates of COVID, and we know that African Americans have had lower rates of vaccinations," she said.

While this location does not have a zip code requirement, appointments must be made internally through organizations like La Familia. 

"To have 14 or 15 organizations all agree on the allocations and all agree that we're volunteering, we're going to come out and make this happen, says a lot," she said.

To book an appointment, if you qualify to get a vaccine within the state's tier system, you can call La Familia Counseling Center directly at 916-990-1311.

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