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Mobile COVID-19 site vaccinates underserved communities in the East Bay

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HAYWARD, Calif. (KRON) — Hundreds of people got vaccinated this weekend at a south Hayward pop-up site set up to provide access to underserved communities.

The mobile site at Glad Tidings International Church of God in Christ was set up in partnership with FEMA just for this weekend.

However, leaders like Congressman Eric Swalwell who visited the site on Sunday are trying to make this location a permanent vaccination clinic.

Hundreds of people lined up on Sunday to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think it’s super important,” Carla Harris said. “The underrepresented people have not had this representation before so I’m glad it’s available and that’s why I’m here.”

The mobile vaccination site was set up in partnership with FEMA to improve access to underserved communities.

Bishop Jerry Macklin says this is something the Hayward community desperately needed.

“We gotta make up for lost time here. We lost a lot of time here so now the underserved communities have to be addressed immediately because the greatest cry was for those who lost that lost the most,” he said. “For the African American communities, the numbers are sky high.”

Bishop Macklin says their church location has served as a COVID-19 testing site for several months now and it’s become a place where the community can find resources and information about the virus. He says it’s only fitting that fema chose this location for the community to get vaccinated.

“Of course there is a fear about the vaccination to start with and now we’re trying cross that line. Churches are working really hard across this area to be able to come on we can do this. we gotta do it,” he said. “Let’s all work together so I think these sites like this will bring people out there that would otherwise not go to the big centers.”

Congressman Swalwell visited the site on Sunday. He says up to 1,400 people will receive their first Pfizer dose here between Saturday and Sunday. While this site will return again in three weeks to give everyone their second dose, Congressman Swalwell says he’s trying to expand this site and make it permanent.

“Our hope is that because of the infusion of American rescue plan funds that we’re going to dramatically increase the number of vaccines available and that would mean that it’s not just at sites like the Coliseum, but they’ll be mobily deployed at sites like this,” he said. “And whether it’s this congregation or this community, I think we’re showing this weekend that this place has the ability to distribute the vaccine.”

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