Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health increases access to COVID-19 vaccines

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Dr. Fred Kency, Jr.

The Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health (IAMH) is diligent in its efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines. For the past several months, Institute staff has partnered with various agencies throughout the state to get local communities vaccinated.

“We have worked with other community-based organizations and healthcare facilities to improve access to the [vaccine] in some of the state’s most underserved areas in the Mississippi Delta, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the Metro Jackson area,” said Sandra Melvin, CEO, Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health. “Because of the high rate of infection and death in minority communities, coupled with the low vaccination rates, it is critical that we give people access to the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Presently, IAMH has hosted twelve clinics and vaccinated over 200 individuals. Vaccine clinics have been held at parks, health clinics, and churches. “We were very excited to partner with the IAMH for our Back-to-School Blast in July,” said Bishop Jeffery A. Stallworth, Pastor, Word and Worship Church, Jackson, MS. “Our church believes in meeting the needs of the community, and our community needs this vaccine.” The vaccination clinics are sponsored by IAMH and made possible through a grant from CDC Foundation with support from Amerigroup Foundation.

In addition to the clinics, IAMH and MS NAACP Health hosted a COVID-19 informational session featuring Dr. Fred Kency, a community emergency medicine physician at Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. “This session was designed to provide an update on COVID-19 numbers in Mississippi and to share the latest COVID-19 guidance,” said Melvin. “The mission of IAMH is to reduce health disparities among disadvantaged and underserved minorities in Mississippi. As we continue to fight this virus, it is important that we provide the community with accurate information from healthcare leaders who are on the frontlines trying to save the lives of Mississippians.”

For more information regarding the vaccine clinics, contact Asia McCoy at the Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health at amccoy@advancingminorityhealth.org.