BOULDER, Colo. — Eight hundred people were vaccinated at the Boulder County Fairgrounds Tuesday during an equity clinic Tuesday.
The Boulder County Public Health Department partnered with Out Boulder County and El Centro Amistad to vaccinate people in LGBTQ+ and Latino communities.
Out Boulder County serves and advocates for people in the LGBTQ community, while El Centro Amistad works to promote health equity for Boulder's Latino community. Together, the two organizations have held four vaccine clinics and plan to host more every Tuesday. So far, they've helped get more than 1,300 vaccines into arms.
Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County, said they began working with the health department in January to plan vaccination clinics for the LGBTQ+ community.
"People still have concerns of, 'Is it really free, do I really not have to provide ID, is it a safe vaccine?'" said Moore. "So, we need to continue addressing those real concerns. We have to build trust between the LGBTQ community and healthcare systems."
Executive Director of El Centro Amistad Jorge De Santiago said the barriers that exist with accessing the vaccine in the LGBTQ+ and Latino communities are similar. The biggest similarity, he said, is mistrust in healthcare, which is why he said he believes the equity clinics and grassroot efforts are making a difference.
"There are a lot of people in the community who don’t have access to the internet, they’re not bilingual, and we deal with a lot of people who aren’t able to register themselves," he said. "We also have a lot of community members who might not read and write."
De Santiago said he's grateful for the partnership with Out Boulder County that may have been born out of the pandemic, but will be crucial to continue addressing inequities in their communities.
"We can’t wait and be reactive, we have to be prepared. I think with this system in place, we’re ready for anything," said De Santiago.
Out Boulder County has a waiting list for COVID-19 vaccine appointments here.
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