August – National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Month after month since the Covid-19 vaccines became widely available, we, along with our partners and the media have been encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. The more vaccinated Californians there are, the safer we’ll all be from COVID-19 and its variants. #VaccinesSaveLives – They are safe, effective, and free for ages 12+.
And, while the Covid-19 vaccines continue to be critically important in the fight to beat down the pandemic, this particular month of August gives us reason to highlight the vaccination work of our partners.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance is held to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages and increase awareness about getting vaccinated. A number of our grantees make immunization awareness and education a priority all the time, and some also administer the Covid-19 vaccine.
Alliance Health Clinic (AHC) has been administering the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine since January 2021. Vaccination administration continues on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm and Fridays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at their City Heights location. AHC will also return to providing Covid-19 testing in two weeks. For more information, visit here.
Alliance Health Clinic is affiliated with the Alliance for African Assistance. Its mission is to serve refugees, immigrants and the most vulnerable to become self-sufficient, productive members of the community. The Clinic provides dental, mental health, and basic primary care services, including well-adult and well-baby check-ups, annual immunizations and booster shots. Patients receive state-of-the-art, compassionate, low-cost, continuous quality care delivered in a culturally-sensitive manner.
Somali Family Service of San Diego
Somali Family Service has several vaccination related activities happening this month:
Its Community Health Worker (CHW) training program is graduating its first cohort this week. Trainees went through a 4-week online training course, equipping them with the tools to become effective community health workers. One of the tools in the training included the virtual reality Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) education product that Somali Family Service created with the support of Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s i2 Innovation Initiative grant from 2017. See full report of the Somali Health Initiative for Access to Care Project (SHIFA) final report.
Somali Family Service (SFS) has community engagement events in August to promote the Covid-19 vaccine in the refugee/immigrant communities in San Diego County:
- Covid-19 outreach event (August 27th in City Heights) featuring food distribution and a resource drive.
- Pop-up vaccine clinic on August 24th in El Cajon, where resources will also be distributed to the community (food, diapers, masks, etc.).
- Outreach and vaccine assistance at other’s vaccine events happening on August 14th and August 28th at which SFS will be tabling.
For more event news, visit here.
- Weekly virtual townhall meetings held on Microsoft Teams in Arabic, Somali and Swahili to provide important updates related to Covid-19 and education to the refugee community. Dates of townhalls are Thursday 8/12, 8/19, 8/26. For more details, visit here.
Additionally, Somali Family Service is training to be able to provide Covid-19 antigen testing with support of the State. “It’ll be a great resource to help keep the community safe and minimize barriers to testing, especially as the Covid-19 cases are increasing,” said Najla Ibrahim, Director of Health & Wellness.
Champions for Health
Formerly known as San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, Champions for Health addresses the needs of the medically underserved with physicians who volunteer their time to improve health and change lives.
As part of its ongoing programs that provide preventative and specialty medical care to underinsured and uninsured individuals in San Diego, Champions for Health offers free immunizations to reduce health disparities in under-resourced communities, in partnership with County of San Diego Health and Human Services; United Healthcare, and Las Patronas. Its vaccination team and volunteer partners are comprised of local nursing schools, nursing associations, physicians, medical and pharmacy students.
In the first 13 weeks after the Covid-19 vaccines became available, Champions for Health administered more than 14,000 vaccinations at 150 community locations in priority zip codes.
From 2020 to 2021, Champions for Health has administered 6,500 flu vaccinations and more than 17,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
For information on who is eligible for a flu vaccination or other immunizations, including Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13) and Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap), visit here.
UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic
The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic’s mission is to partner with the community and provide respectful, empowering, high quality health care for the under-resourced while inspiring the next generation of health professionals.
The Clinic’s priority patients are those who do not qualify for any other healthcare programs or resources, such as undocumented individuals.
The immunization program is provided through the Clinic’s pharmacy team, which also provides medication education to patients and a smoking-cessation program. There are five clinic sites which can be found here.
In addition to the immunization program, the Clinic with its partners provides comprehensive health care to people without access to care. The most common medical concerns include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma and depression. There are also specialty clinic consultations available including cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, diabetes, neurology, ophthalmology, physical therapy, podiatry, psychiatry, and women’s health.
All services are provided by a team of volunteer medical students and physicians in an integrative approach that is culturally and racially sensitive.
COVID-19 variants are strong, but California is stronger when we #GetVaccinated.
Let’s all do what we need to do to keep each other safer. If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, it’s more important than ever for you to make an appointment today. If you’ve been partially vaccinated, follow up about your next dose. If you have a loved one who hasn’t gotten their vaccine, encourage them to schedule an appointment or find a walk-in clinic. We can do this if we just remember that #VaccinesSaveLives.