SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 24, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Fourth Street Clinic will be offering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the homeless population starting next week, officials said.
The Salt Lake County Health Department allocated 80 doses of the vaccine to the clinic on Friday, according to a news release.
Janida Emerson, CEO of Fourth Street Clinic, said that the first waves of vaccines will be at the clinic for those 70 and older.
“It’s difficult enough for someone experiencing homelessness to access basic health services, like getting vaccinated.” Emerson said.
“Asking someone without transportation to drive to a county vaccination site ultimately means they won’t get the vaccine. We asked the county to allocate doses of the COVID vaccine to increase access to those most affected by the virus.”
Fourth Street Clinic will only offer the vaccine to patients 70 years of age and over at their site at 409 W. 400 South next week, then will take the vaccine to homeless resource centers and other locations the following week with the Mobile Health Care program.
Emerson said that any remaining vaccines will be tiered for those with underlying health conditions, clients at the homeless resource centers willing to be vaccinated, unvaccinated staff members at community partner sites, and household members of Fourth Street Clinic staff providing direct patient care.
Clinic staff received their first round of the vaccine at the end of December.
According to the news release, Fourth Street Clinic performed more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests in 2020. The release said the additional workload put a strain on providers and staff at the clinic, and the clinic is trying to secure additional staff to help vaccinate the homeless population.
“We really need to focus on widening the pool of who gets the vaccine, rather than double up on what the county is already doing,” said Emerson. “This will really be an ‘all hands on deck’ approach, but we’re excited to play our part in this.”
For more information on the Fourth Street Clinic click here.