KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the number of delta variant cases continue to rise, a local health center is taking matters into their own hands. Staff at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center went door-to-door Wednesday morning offering vaccines and educating the public in the urban core.
“Our concern is that we don’t have enough people in the urban core vaccinated,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Catherine Wiley.
Wiley said the team is targeting minorities with their new approach, especially the younger generation. While they want to get everyone vaccinated, data shows minorities are disproportionately affected. This is often due to the already existing healthcare disparities.
“Which is one of the things we’re working to end. And that's what COVID has done — shine a light on that,” Wiley said.
One way to close that gap is through education from people they trust.
“My concern is people are not going to come get vaccinated if they don’t trust you. So this is an opportunity to come out, talk to people face-to-face, it's personal, it builds trust. We have a relationship with this community as it is,” she said.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center has been serving its area for more than 50 years. In partnership with federal government agencies and the Kansas City Housing Authority, they are hoping to meet their communities where they are.
Over the next few weeks, the outreach team will visit 285 doorsteps, offering their services and any incentives to encourage their neighbors to get vaccinated.
The team said changing the mind of at least one person is another life saved.
“That's why we wanted to ask, ‘If you haven’t been vaccinated, why?’ and really have that conversation with them, because I think you just need to get rid of the fear,” Wiley said.
The health center aims to be accessible and present to anyone who shows up. The mobile clinic will be back on Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and people can stop by their center on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.