Celebrating 100,000 COVID-19 Doses at Minnesota’s Community Health Centers

Celebrating 100,000 COVID-19 Doses at Minnesota’s Community Health Centers




Celebrating 100,000 COVID-19 Doses at Minnesota’s Community Health Centers

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On Thursday, April 15th the network of Community Health Centers (CHC) in Minnesota will receive a shipment containing its 100,000th COVID-19 vaccine dose from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). This milestone will occur just four months after MDH delivered its first doses to the state’s CHCs, which began to immediately administer these doses to patients.

Minnesota’s Community Health Centers serve approximately 200,000 low-income individuals, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and rely on their health center for COVID-19 testing and now vaccinations.

“We are grateful for the Walz-Flanagan Administration’s commitment to ensuring Community Health Centers can continue to create innovative and resilient solutions to keep low-income Minnesotans healthy,” said Jonathan Watson, CEO of the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers. “In the last year, the COVID-19 positivity rate for health center patients has exceeded statewide averages by 3-4 times. For BIPOC communities, the positivity rate is much higher. The supply of COVID-19 vaccinations that the state has delivered to Community Health Centers has enabled this disproportionately impacted patient population to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from a provider who they know and trust.”

According to Ann Nyakundi, CEO of United Family Medicine in St. Paul, “Combining the supply of vaccines from the Minnesota Department of Health and our decades-long trust with the community we serve, has allowed us to vaccinate nearly 10,000 people since the beginning of January. Our job is two-fold: ensuring the communities we serve have access to both the vaccine and the facts about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. We meet our patients where they are.”

The Minnesota Department of Health has been a valuable partner to the network of Community Health Centers in Minnesota by providing a stable supply of vaccines for its patients. Although the ever-present challenges that low-income individuals face in accessing health care have grown significantly during the pandemic, Community Health Centers continue to advance the vision of health equity for all, as a trusted community provider administering COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.

The Minnesota Department of Health vaccine supply is complementing the Biden Administration’s efforts to utilize Community Health Centers as a vital COVID-19 access point. Currently, 11 of the state’s 17 Community Health Centers are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government. By mid-May, all 17 of the Community Health Centers will become eligible for this federal supply. These doses are intended to complement the state supply.

“Our push to vaccinate Minnesotans and end the COVID-19 pandemic requires many partnerships in many communities,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said. “We are particularly thankful for the role Minnesota’s Community Health Centers play in helping advance our goal to immunize for impact. These clinics serve some of the communities hit hardest by COVID-19, with higher hospitalization and death rates. We are thankful for their service in protecting these communities from further impact and helping get us closer to the end of the pandemic.”

For over five decades, Minnesota’s 17 Community Health Centers have reached populations that would otherwise face significant social, economic, and geographic barriers to primary health care services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Health Centers continued this mission as over 60% of the COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered to BIPOC communities and nearly 30% of the vaccines are reaching rural areas of Minnesota.

About MNACHC

The Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers represents 17 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota, serving as a safety net provider of comprehensive primary and preventive medical, dental, and behavioral health services to people who would otherwise lack access to this care. For more information, go to mnachc.org. If you or someone you know is seeking affordable health care, please visit mnhealthcenters.org.

Contacts

Hannah Erickson

Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers

(715) 441-7026

hannah.erickson@mnachc.org