COVID coalition still striving to get vaccines to all

By Tim Mastro
Posted 7/14/21

DOVER — The Kent County Coalition, focused on COVID-19 vaccine equity, administered its 9,000th dose earlier this month.

The coalition has been working since March and is a partnership …

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COVID coalition still striving to get vaccines to all


DOVER — The Kent County Coalition, focused on COVID-19 vaccine equity, administered its 9,000th dose earlier this month.

The coalition has been working since March and is a partnership formed between First State Community Action, People’s Place, Bayhealth, NCALL Research, the United Way, the NAACP, the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Delaware Pharmacist Association and several other community leaders and churches.

It has helped with 9,056 vaccinations to date, the Rev. Rita Paige said during the coalition’s biweekly meeting on Wednesday.

The coalition is facing the same difficulty the rest of Delaware is experiencing as demand for the vaccine has dropped in recent months. It has done 59 vaccinations so far in July, compared to 640 last month and its peak of 4,193 in April.

Six doses were administered through the coalition at a three-hour clinic Monday in Capitol Park with Focus Pharmacy as the vaccinator, utilizing the Kent County Public Library’s bookmobile. Rev. Paige said two of the six individuals were homeless.

“The last person came up to us and said, ‘What are you all doing out here?’” Rev. Paige said. “We told him what we were doing and he sat down and got his shot just as we were packing up to leave.”

The coalition has nine more vaccination events scheduled this month. It will be at Delaware State University four more times, including this Friday, as well as July 20, 23 and 27. All clinics at DSU will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with vaccinations being administered by Curative Inc.

The group is hosting two events on Thursday, July 22. The first will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Transformation AMEZ Church, 702 Maple Parkway in Dover, with Dr. Calvin Wilson doing the vaccinating. The second will be from 3 to 6 p.m. at Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, 684 Forest Street, once again using Focus Pharmacy.

The Kent County Public Library bookmobile will be on South New Street from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 23, for vaccinations. It will also serve as a vaccination site during the Concert on the Green in Dover from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 29.

Bayhealth will hold a clinic with the coalition at Polytech High School on Saturday, July 31, at a time to be announced.

The coalition is also aiming to do more community outreach for its clinics instead of static sites.

“We’re trying to create a strategy where we can be more boots on ground in those areas where we know it will be more beneficial if we can go to them,” said Wanda Barrett of United Way Delaware.

Rev. Paige announced the coalition’s scheduled event for the Haitian community has been moved from this Sunday to Sunday, Aug. 15, from 3 to 9 p.m. It will be a “family day” at the Legislative Mall featuring vendors, a comedian and a DJ to go along with the vaccination clinic.

A total of 16,565 members of Kent County’s Black population (36.5%) have been vaccinated. This number is 20.6% of all persons vaccinated in the county. Kent County’s Hispanic population has 35.1% of its population vaccinated, with 4,377 individuals receiving at least one dose — 5.4% of all persons vaccinated in Kent County.

Statewide, 37.3% of the Black population (79,221) have received at least one dose, while 42.3% of Hispanics have (38,886). All numbers are via the DPH’s vaccine tracker and reflect data as of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

There have been 1,029,350 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in Delaware. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70.9% of adult Delawareans have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

The DPH reported one new COVID-19-related death in Wednesday’s update, bringing the state’s total to 1,696. The most recent death was a 92-year-old from Sussex County who was a resident of a long-term care facility — the 760th COVID-19-related death in a long-term care center.