Hampton University to Vaccinate Local Minorities Against COVID-19 in MobileClinic RV

United States North America COVID-19 by Erudera News Mar 17, 2021

United States US

In collaboration with the city, the Hampton University and community leaders will start vaccinating minorities in Hampton Roads.

With a $500,000 RV, which will serve as a mobile clinic, Hampton University plans to vaccinate African Americans, Hispanic, and elderly Virginia residents, Erudera.com reports.

“The vision came from a need because of the pandemic. The need to get this type of service to people versus them having to come to a center,” said Hampton University’s vice president for research and associate provost, Michelle Penn-Marshall.

This action was taken after the initiators asserted that the minorities were less likely to receive their anti-COVID-19 vaccines than white residents who have already started getting their shots.

Educational institutions and organizations took matters into their own hands by reaching Black and brown Americans through their mobile clinic.

The action was made possible thanks to donations and partnerships like Thermo Fisher Scientific that helped Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) by supporting them financially through ‘The Just Project.’

Named after the Black biologist Ernest Everett Just, the project is designed to battle the virus and serve as a COVID-19 vaccination facility for faculty, students, and community members.

For the RV mobile clinic, Hampton’s faculty members were inspired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who first provided this service.

“MIT was the first school to have a mobile unit. I contacted MIT when I saw that in the news this summer and said, ‘Hey, how can we do this?’ They took the time and gave me a one-hour briefing on the mobile unit, and also they gave me information regarding testing efficiency,” vice president Penn-Marshall added.

The latter renovated RV contains a full-size pharmacy refrigerator with a minus 20- and 80-degree freezer and examination tables to manage COVID-19 vaccinations and tests.

Hampton University plans to work with other trusted, active, and Black-led community groups such as Black Greek Lettered organizations and 100 Black Men to help promote the mobile clinic.

“HBCUs are not just colleges, they’re an integral part of the black community. HBCUs have to be ambassadors for the minority community,” said Alonzo Bell Jr., president of men’s civic organization and service club 100 Black Men.

Since most HBCUs are situated around Black neighborhoods, action to transform areas on their campuses for vaccinations is another contribution that universities like North Carolina Agricultural, Technical State University, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University offers.

In addition to Hampton University, the University of Houston, with a 22.6 percent Black population, has also started providing the shots for frontline workers, faculty staff, and students in the Students Medical Center.

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