May 9, 2023
CommUnityCare Health Centers is making strides toward building COVID-19 vaccine confidence and bolstering COVID-19 vaccinations in underserved communities through its grant-funded COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Program. The program launched in January 2023 and has already surpassed expectations and is a testament to CommUnityCare’s mission of striving for health equity and reducing barriers to accessing healthcare resources.
CommUnityCare received $1.175 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration in December 2022 to support education and vaccine events in underserved areas of Central Texas. The funds have supported clinic and community events with vaccines administered by Ascension Seton team members.
CommUnityCare’s Community Outreach Coordinators, Claudia Franco, and Felipe Rivera, along with Community Development Manager, Karla Rivera are leading the outreach effort, coordinating events and providing 1:1 education and information to the community.
“We are thrilled to share the success of our ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program,” said Felipe Rivera. “We have truly been humbled by the rich stories which our patients and community members have shared with us. Ranging from newly emigrated families, all the way to people who are receiving the vaccine for the first time.”
As of April, the bi-lingual outreach team has engaged with nearly 1,400 people both in-clinic and at community events. From these interactions, 352 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge. The work is an extension of CommUnityCare’s work early in the pandemic, working with community partners to ensure more equitable access to vaccines and COVID-19 testing early in the pandemic. CommUnityCare has administered more than 154,000 COVID-19 vaccines since January 2021.
“Our underserved communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and deserve equitable access to vaccines,” said Franco. “Thanks to the engagement and educational information we are able to provide, our community is better informed about current vaccination guidelines.”
The program would not be possible without the collaboration with Ascension, which provides their medical personnel to administer the vaccines. The partnership allows CommUnityCare’s medical staff to remain in the health centers supporting primary care and other needs of its 129,000 patients. Additionally, CommUnityCare has collaborated with the following local organizations to help this program grow: Equidad ATX, JD’s Supermarkets, Mexican American Cultural Arts Center, Mexican Consulate, Todos Juntos, Travis County Precinct 4 Constable Office and United Way of Central Texas.
This free COVID-19 vaccination program is open to anyone in the community ages 5 and older. If you would like to receive your free COVID-19 vaccine, please see the list of upcoming events below.
May Clinic Events:
North Central Health Center
Mondays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm | Wednesdays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Southeast Health & Wellness Center
Tuesdays 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | Thursdays 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
May Community Events:
May 13th: Bookspring Fest
1807 W Slaughter Ln., Bldg #1, Austin, TX., 78748 | 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
May 16th: Creedmoor Food Distribution
5604 FM 1327 Creedmoor, TX., 78610 | 8:30 am – 9:30 am
May 19th: 30th Annual Senior Mayfest: Wild World of Sports
Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA)
1156 Hargrave St., Austin, TX 78702 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
May 20th: Del Valle High School Food Distribution
5210 Ross Rd., Del Valle, TX., 78617 | 9:30 am – 11:45 am
May 25th: Turner Roberts Rec Center Food Distribution
7201 Colony Loop, Austin, TX., 78724 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am
May 25th: AVANCE South Graduation at Anita Coy Facility
4900 Gonzalez St., Austin, TX., 78702 | 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
May 26th: AVANCE North Graduation at River Oaks Elementary
12401 Scofield Farms Dr., Austin, TX., 78758 | 9:30 am – 12:30 pm