KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Truman Medical Centers/University Health is making it easier for seniors to get vaccinated by going into their communities to deliver the critical shot.
"It's a great day to amplify awesome calls to be able to get the COVID vaccine, to share with the community that it's safe and to trust the science," Darron Edwards, pastor at United Believers Community Church, said.
Edwards is practicing what he preaches.
"I've talked to several health professionals that I trust who have told me and have answered all my questions and because of that, I wanted to show my trust to the greater KC community, to let them know you can trust me for those who follow me," Edwards said.
He trusts that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe. So he got his shot through a partnership with Truman Medical Centers' new mobile vaccine clinics.
"We know that it is difficult for seniors to get online and navigate a system and do surveys and so on, and so we don't want to leave them out," said Niki Donawa, chief community relations officer at TMC/UH. "We are here to meet the needs of this community."
The hospital said it's working with faith leaders to offer guidance when it comes to the vaccine and testing.
"It makes it a safe spot to come to. People love the church, people love coming to the community and for this to be out in the community, it is sending an awesome message of trust," Edwards said.
Truman Medical Centers vaccinated a pre-selected group at Morning Star Baptist Church on Tuesday. A hospital spokesperson said the reason they picked this area is because "it allows us to best connect with people in disproportionately affected areas in Kansas City."
"So many people have died. We have lost thousands and thousands and thousands of people," Morning Star Baptist Pastor John Modest Miles said. "One of the things that we wanted to say is by you being here and by Truman sharing with us, think of the thousands of lives that we will save, the thousands of lives that will not pass onto the other side."
The goal is to be one step closer to getting the entire community vaccinated.
"A big part of getting the vaccine out into the community is making sure we are getting it out into our community partners," Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said. "Work with people like Pastor Miles, doing vaccinations here on the corner of 27th (Street) and Prospect (Avenue). Making sure this isn't about something that is about going to a hospital, but it's the hospital coming to you."
Edwards got his vaccine with pride. He said it's another layer of protection the community needs — but added there is another reason he wanted to do this.
"We are hoping that this enthusiasm amplifies all throughout KC and in fact across the United States, that you see people of color who are receiving this vaccine," Edwards said.
Hospital officials said they are "reaching out to patients who are 65 and older to schedule vaccinations at the downtown and Lakewood campuses as doses become available."