Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, in partnership with the City of Burbank, held their first community-based COVID vaccine clinic at the Joslyn Adult Center on Thursday, May 20.
The Providence Saint Joseph Community Health Department has conducted vaccine clinics in both communities and hospital settings since early March. This vaccine popup marks the beginning of St. Joe’s and the City providing vaccines directly to Burbank residents.
The vaccination site was open to anyone still in need of their shot, both via appointments and walk-ins. The staff on location expected a strong turnout of 165 appointments, with additional walk-ins steadily pouring into the center throughout their single-day operating hours of 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
As of May 9, the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s site reported that 63% of Burbank residents had received at least their first vaccine dose. Although a majority of locals have been vaccinated, St. Joe’s and the City hope to increase this figure in the fight against COVID-19. Together, they have reached out to over 30 nonprofits and utilized Burbank’s Streetplus program to spread the word on these vaccination opportunities for underprivileged residents. This includes reaching the homeless community, those living in affordable housing, or seniors who have not had the means to get to vaccination sites yet.
“We’re really looking at those vulnerable communities that didn’t have access to the normal vaccine clinics that were being put on by the County of Los Angeles,” Emergency Management Coordinator of the Burbank Fire Department, Eric Baumgardner, said. “And so this partnership with St. Joe’s was really fundamental in being able to bring something grassroots here to our residents.”
St. Joe’s and the City plan to continue this work together and, if the need arises, more popup clinics may emerge in the near future. Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines were utilized at the Joslyn Adult Center, and St. Joe’s also has access to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Visitors to the clinic expressed feelings of optimism and relief as they were finally able to receive their awaited vaccination.
“I am so happy and so glad that I’m vaccinated, and now I can go outside again and feel protected,” vaccine recipient, Claudia Arenas, said.
Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and the City of Burbank together believe that administering COVID-19 vaccines will be a critical step in eradicating the virus moving forward. Safety is the top priority in providing the popup locations to Burbank residents, and the sooner everyone receives their vaccine shot, the sooner circumstances will return to standard procedure.
“This is a vaccine that will make sure that [recipients] are protecting themselves, but also protecting their family and the community,” Providence Saint Joseph Director of Community Health, Anthony Ortiz Luis, said. “For us, it’s making sure that those folks that are a little bit more on the fence understand that it is a safe vaccine. It is a vaccine that we all need to get so we get closer to that herd immunity so that everyone can get back to normal.”