PHOENIX — One person, one community, one mission. That's the focus of Equality Health Foundation President Tomas Leon and other stakeholders partnering with the Arizona Department of Public Health Services.
“We are working in communities where there is a lot of hesitancy and there are trust issues. So that’s why is so important to bring vaccines into the neighborhoods,” said Leon.
Mobile vaccination organizations partnering with ADHS have administered more than 80,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccination clinics with the One Community Initiative organized by the Equality Health and HeroZona foundations have helped with building bridges in neighborhoods lacking access to the vaccine and providing education on the benefits of the vaccine.
Falling numbers don't mean the pandemic is over
“We are seeing that dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases coming off that spike from Omicron that we saw over the last several weeks," said Jessica Rigler, assistant director for ADHS.
COVID-19 numbers have dropped since peaking in January with the 7-day average falling by nearly 80% in recent weeks.
But Rigler says that doesn't mean the pandemic is over.
“There is still widespread transmission in our communities. It’s not time yet to let down your guard,” said Rigler.
In the state's blog, Rigler points to a shift in focus to engage with unvaccinated Arizonans.
"The focus for ADHS, local health departments, and others had shifted to reaching people who remained unvaccinated for a wide variety of reasons. Along with public service announcements and social media messages, a big part of our vaccine equity focus at ADHS has been helping connect people in underserved communities with trusted partners offering accessible vaccination and critical information."
Leon says the vaccine remains crucial in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“For not only yourself, but your loved ones, the elderly people around you with chronic conditions and to make it easy for people to get what they need and protect themselves and ultimately together, we are protecting our entire community,” said Leon.
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