NAACP, Rite Aid holding vaccine clinic in Penn Hills, April 10

KENNETH L. HUSTON, PA NAACP STATE CONFERENCE PRESIDENT

Make appointments now; open to first 400 qualified applicants

by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer

Mix together the Pa. NAACP State Conference, Rite Aid, and the Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship, and you’ve got a chance to get the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, a one-shot-only dose, this Saturday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned about the vaccine clinic, open to the first 400 qualified individuals, as Rite Aid pharmacists will be administering the COVID vaccine at the school, 2501 Main St. Individuals 65 and over, those under 65 with pre-existing health conditions, members of law enforcement, firefighters, grocery store workers and food/agricultural workers are eligible. Pre-registration is required, by signing up on the Pa. State NAACP’s website,
www.pastatenaacp.org. Those without computer access can call 267-627-0633 to set up an appointment.

“For those who desire to do so, this collaboration is to help ensure that diverse communities are not left behind in having the opportunity to receive the COVID 19 vaccination,” said Kenneth L. Huston, president of the Pennsylvania NAACP State Conference, in a statement. “It is imperative, particularly in this health pandemic, to forge partnerships with organizations who have a heart for meeting the needs of their communities.”

The Courier has been the only media organization in Western Pennsylvania publishing the number of African Americans and Whites that have been fully vaccinated in Allegheny County, according to data from the Pa. Department of Health. As of April 2, there were 11,714 African Americans in the county fully vaccinated, while 165,904 Whites have been fully vaccinated. There have been 227,417 people fully vaccinated in Allegheny County as of April 2, according to the available data. While Blacks make up 14 percent of the county’s population, Blacks account for just 5.1 percent of those in the county who’ve received the full vaccine.

Since the Courier’s original report in its March 3 edition, titled, “African Americans abominably underrepresented in COVID-19 vaccine,” which revealed that only 2,860 Blacks had received the full vaccine compared with more than 36,000 Whites as of Feb. 26, there has been a more concerted effort to get the vaccine to Pittsburgh’s Black communities.

The Allegheny County Health Department opened a distribution center inside Central Baptist Church in the Hill District, after weeks of distribution centers mainly in the North Hills and South Hills. Bethany Community Ministries (Homewood) partnered with UPMC to provide 600 primarily African American individuals with the vaccine at Bethany Center, on Tioga Street, in Homewood.

Allegheny Health Network announced it had completed vaccine clinics at Mount Ararat Baptist Church, on Paulson Avenue, in East Liberty, on March 27, and at Petra International Ministries (East Hills) and Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh (Hill District) on March 29. More than 2,500 people were vaccinated at the three churches.

The Courier has also learned exclusively that the East Liberty Family Health Care Center is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to those 65 and older and those under 65 with pre-existing conditions. Individuals are asked to call 412-361-8225 between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center said it would respond back to individuals within three business days.

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