Bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to the people rather than relying on them to find their way to a site is one option to get people vaccinated and slow the surging Delta variant.
In May 2021, the Fairfax County Health Department began to review vaccination data across the county regularly. “Using land parcel population estimates and vaccination data, our epidemiologists have identified some neighborhoods that are under-vaccinated,” said Sharon D. Arndt, Director, COVID19 Response High Risk Task Force Leader Community Health Development Division Fairfax County Health Department.
“Working with community partners and residential management companies, we have established pop-up clinics in many of these neighborhoods to offer the vaccine and to improve vaccination rates,” Arndt said.
“We have recently begun to deploy vaccine navigation teams to neighborhoods to help connect residents to nearby vaccine appointments that can be found on https://www.staywellnova.com/,” she added.
According to Arndt, their Vaccine Equity Clinics began in early February. They held clinics in FCPS schools, community centers, board offices, libraries, retail space, homeless shelters, houses of worship, and residential management companies.
“We work with different anchor vaccinators to deliver the vaccine – such as Safeway, Neighborhood Health FQHC [Federal Qualified Health Center], Mason and Partners Clinic, Healthworks FQHC [Federal Qualified Health Center], and the Health Department’s own field vaccination team,” said Arndt.
Specific for the in-the residential-neighborhood vaccine events, Arndt said they held neighborhood clinics in the Mount Vernon area at the Audubon, Creekside, and Lafayette communities; Lincolnian area at Lerner Towers; Springfield area with Springfield Neighborhood Resource Center; Herndon area at Berkdale Apartments; and Chantilly area at Meadows of Chantilly.