By Heather Hodge
The Community Clinic of Springdale soon will be delivering COVID-19 vaccine shots, the first clinic in Arkansas picked in a federal program aimed at expanding access to the vaccine for Hispanics and other at-risk groups.
Up to this point, vaccine distribution in Arkansas primarily has been handled by pharmacies and hospitals, although a few clinics have partnered with the state for limited vaccine distribution. Judd Semingson, chief executive officer of
Community Clinic, said in a statement “our mission is to reach people who may not feel comfortable going to a pharmacy or hospital and may lack access. Thankfully, our patients trust us.”
Community Clinic, in a statement Friday, said it was selected under a federal program launched by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to health centers that care for underserved communities.
The Community Clinic said it serves nearly 40,000 patients each year, with more than half being Latino and approximately 3,000 Marshallese. The Community Clinic expects to receive about 500 doses weekly and should begin seeing supplies within three to five weeks. The clinic expects to see an increased vaccine doses as supplies become more available.
The Health Resources and Services Administration is selecting clinics and health centers that serve people who experience homelessness as well as public housing residents, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, or people with limited English proficiency.
Nationwide some 250 HRSA-funded health centers were selected in the program’s initial phase. Nationwide, there are about 13,000 HRSA-funded clinics serving nearly 30 million patients each year. About 63% of these patients are racial or ethnic minorities and 91% are people with incomes below the federal poverty guidelines.