Kent County Coalition seeks funding for vaccinations

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DOVER — The Kent County Coalition for vaccine equity has received funding for COVID-19 vaccinations in August and September, but is still waiting for a larger grant to carry it through June of next year.

The coalition’s original grant ran out this June. The temporary funding for August and September is through the state’s Department of Immunizations.

One of the coalition’s leaders, the Rev. Rita Paige said the group is hopeful to receive a grant from the Delaware Division of Public Health for September-June, which would help it address other health disparities in Kent County.

The coalition has helped with 13,982 vaccinations since March of 2021.

“I still think it’s important to get vaccinated and boosted,” the Rev. Paige said. “That’s our only protection. We want to do all we can to help stop the virus from mutating. We don’t have enough people vaccinated as of now to stop the mutations. So we need to do all we can.”

Its latest events were held Saturday when it combined for 14 vaccinations at a back-to-school event in Magnolia and a clinic at Tracy Palmer Ministries’ annual Community Day in Dover.

The coalition still facilitated vaccinations in July when its funding ran out, the Rev. Paige said. During that month, she referred those looking for vaccines to Dover’s Westside Family Healthcare and several pharmacies the coalition works with, such as Forest Pharmacy, Express Pharmacy, Focus Pharmacy, Hometown Drugs and Atlantic Apothecary.

Even this far into the pandemic, the Rev. Paige said the coalition is still finding people who decide now is the time to receive their first dose.

“To me, that’s where you make the most impact,” she said. “There’s still an awful lot of hesitancy.”

The coalition will be vaccinating at Harrington Heritage Day this Saturday (10 a.m.-noon). It has three events already scheduled for September — at Dover Christian Church on Saturday, Sept. 10 (1-4 p.m.), at the Delaware Multicultural and Civic Organization on Saturday, Sept. 17 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and at People’s Church on Friday, Sept. 23 at a time to be determined.

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