Wyandotte County takes mobile clinics to neighborhoods to offer easier vaccine access

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Metro health departments are working to make vaccine access easier.

This week, Wyandotte County is expanding its mobile vaccine clinics, taking the shots directly into neighborhoods.

The health department doesn’t want there to be any excuse for you not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. So the idea behind these mobile clinics is to bring the shot right to your door: where you live, work or worship.

Darrell Bess is rolling up his sleeves. The 61-year-old is thrilled to get the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m so happy that you know it is coming so we can go back to normal and quit being scared of everybody we see on the street,” Bess said.

The Unified Government Public Health Department visited his home, Rosedale Towers, a Wyandotte County Housing Authority property. It’s part of a mobile vaccine effort to remove obstacles and make getting the shot simple.

“Some people are a little hesitant to go to a government facility and I understand that. When it comes down to it, when I go into our living room, I’m just your neighbor who happens to have some shots in the car. That’s the way we really want it to be. We’re all just human and we’re just concerned with your safety,” said John Boling, Wyandotte County Unified Government Public Health Department program coordinator.

The county’s now reaching an equal number of its white and Latinx residents, but is hoping to boost vaccine rates in the Black community.

Churches, non-profits, businesses and neighborhoods can come together and request a mobile clinic allowing nurses and EMTs to bring the vaccine directly to you.

“We’re trying our best to get everybody that we can,” Boling said.

Anedrea Underwood has spent much of the last year isolated at home because of health conditions putting her at higher risk for COVID-19. Now she’s fully vaccinated and ready to see her 30 grandkids and great-grandkids.

“I just want it to work where everybody feels safe again. I do miss my family,” she said.

Those getting the shot Thursday know many friends and neighbors are still nervous about getting vaccinated, but they hope to set an example.

“I believe I am my brother’s keeper so if I’m going to be around people, I need to get the vax shot,” Bess said.

“It’s really important to just know the facts and just if you have questions, just ask,” Underwood said.

If you have an organization, church or business interested in having mobile vaccines come to you, this kind of service is available right now in Jackson, Clay and Wyandotte counties. Here are the links to sign up:

Wyandotte County Unified Government Public Health Department

Jackson County, Missouri Health Department

Clay County Public Health Center in cooperation with Heart to Heart International

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