DENVER (CBS4) – A select number of community health centers across the country will get direct shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine starting next week. Denver Health, STRIDE and Salud Family Health Centers were approved for the federal program that will grow week to week to eventually included all 1,300 across the nation.
Each center serves some of the most vulnerable populations, and the vaccines received must go to those patients.READ MORE: Golden Cancer Patient Calling On State To Include More Patients In Next Vaccine Phase
Salud Family Health Centers have long focused their care on communities that are typically underserved and continued that focus throughout the pandemic.
“We are really mission-driven, eager to serve. It’s been emotional for all of us,” said Elva Medina, Vice President of Operations for Salud.
In addition to offering day-to-day health care services in communities with little access, they are among several health care providers distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Currently we make an order for 300 or 500 for each clinic, and we wait to see what we are actually allocated sometimes it’s zero, sometimes it’s everything we ordered,” Medina said.
While state allocation has allowed them to administer 15,000 doses, they will get additional help being part of the federal community health center vaccination program.READ MORE: 'They Left Her For Dead': 14 Year Old & 18 Year Old Charged With Woman's Murder On Colfax
“These vaccines go specifically to and ship directly to health centers and are to be used specifically for health center patients,” Salud CEO, John Santistevan said.
According to Santistevan, the program is an effort to make vaccine distribution more equitable and get shots into the arms of the most vulnerable and at risk populations.
“Community health centers, that’s our target population, so they figure we will do a really good job outreach, plus we already have that patient lists,” he said.
The hope for them is more streamlined access to the vaccine will mean quicker more efficient distribution.
“I would hope that means we can vaccinate a lot more people,” Medina said.MORE NEWS: Weld County Joins 'Meat In' Day Supporters Following Polis' Controversial Announcement
Santistevan says the more doses coming into the state the better for everyone. Having a direct shipment for their patients means they can use state allocated doses for anyone eligible who makes an appointment with Salud.