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Bell County working to vaccinate underserved communities

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Posted at 10:36 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 23:49:48-04

Bell County and cities like Temple are reaching out to local churches and community leaders to create clinics to help vaccinate minorities.

Getting a vaccine can be a challenge for many living in under-served communities in Texas, especially minorities.

Local healthcare worker Guillermo Carnegie says he shares information, volunteers and finds ways to help others in his community get vaccinated. He said many just don’t have the access.

“A lot of it is transportation,” said local healthcare worker Guillermo Carnegie. “A lot of it is access to the knowledge. Access to the availability of getting the vaccine, it is available in certain areas.”

Now, local county and city officials are working with Carnegie and his church, Grace Temple Ministries, as well as others to set up “micro-clinics” to target specific areas and meet the need.

“To be a nurse practitioner and to be able to serve my community and serve my church at the same time it’s needed,” said Carnegie.

“People are so grateful that we were able to offer our location to get the vaccine. It helped to ease some of the skepticism and some of the apprehension in getting the vaccine,” said Grace Temple Ministries Executive Administrator Mia McBride.

Temple city officials says more than 300 doses were administered Friday. This is their second time working with the church but they plan to do more with other neighborhoods in the community.

“We’re going into the neighborhood and we’re serving the small communities, the small community churches and the small community centers,” said Temple Fire and Rescue Chief Mitch Randles.

Bell County plans to hold six appointment only micro vaccine clinics next week and to partner with Curative to open a continuous large scale vaccination site later this month.

“They come into a community, they actually hire local people to staff it and they’re going to be doing hundreds of vaccinations every day,” said Bell County Public Information Officer James Stafford.

Temple officials say they also plan on opening two large scale vaccination sites, later this month.

Grace Temple Ministeries will host another micro vaccination clinic on April 17th.