A concert venue. A school bus. An aircraft carrier.
These are some of the not-so-typical places where more than 100 million Americans have gotten their Covid-19 vaccine administered. Along with the doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies where people are rolling up their sleeves, health care officials are getting creative about meeting demand for the crucial shots.
In San Diego, over 2,900 Pfizer vaccines were administered to sailors onboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier. In Denver, the parking lot of the 50,000-seat Coors Field baseball stadium was transformed into one of Colorado’s largest drive-through vaccination sites, serving over 10,000 seniors in two days during a mass vaccination event. In Philadelphia, residents can get their shots on stage at the Theatre of Living Arts, a site established by Penn Medicine in the city’s South Street neighborhood that before the pandemic was known for its entertainment and nightlife. In California, Disneyland Resort’s parking lots are filling up with residents in line not for the rides that have been closed for months, but to receive the vaccine. The theme park has seen over 100,000 vaccine doses administered since January.
The pace of vaccinations has varied from state to state, depending on their eligibility thresholds. Alaska has already made the vaccine available to those 16 and up, while others still restrict availability to people who are 65 and over. But with three different vaccines available, the average number of doses administered each day has reached 2.6 million. Over 83 million Americans have received their first dose and nearly 46 million have been fully vaccinated, according to data updated daily by the CDC.
President Joe Biden has promised that all American adults will be eligible for vaccinations by May 1 and that the country will be somewhat back to normal by July 4. The key to achieving those goals will be to make sure the vaccine is available to all communities, especially those hardest hit by the virus.
That means opening up mobile vaccination centers like the one at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus, THEARC, which is located in Washington D.C.’s Ward 8, a majority Black community on the south side of the Anacostia River. The virus has disproportionately affected the African-American community in D.C., with approximately 21,154 total cases compared to 10,750 total cases for white residents and Ward 8 has the highest death toll of Covid-19 in the district at 197 deaths.
"We’re looking at it from a racial equity lens,” said Lynnita Jones-Morton, Community Engagement Director at THEARC. “That’s why our focus is…making sure that most of our people receiving the vaccinations are Ward 8, or again, people from the east of the river. And that we’re also educating them…not to miss the shot."
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