Nonprofit hosting vaccine clinic for those in need, no appointment needed

COVID-19 Vaccine
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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — No matter if you have health care coverage or a steady paycheck, Governor Polis says he wants to make sure you have access to the vaccine.

The state is now issuing vaccines to several local community organizations with hopes of getting more people the shot.

FOX31’s Aristea Brady profiles one charity that said they won’t stop until the last person who wants a vaccine gets one.

You likely still know people who haven’t been able to land that vaccine appointment because it’s just too hard to get through the technology.

Imagine the people with no access to technology … or no ride to the nearby pharmacy.

“Everyone says now is when the work really begins for vaccine equity, now is the time when we’re going out there, and finding people and saying ‘come on, we’ll make it easy for you,’” Shelly Dierking, executive director with St. Benedict Health and Healing Ministry said.

Born 15 years ago, the organization provides free health care for the uninsured and those experiencing housing instability in Boulder County.

“We have a wonderful cadre of physicians, practitioners, nurses, even physical therapy,” Dierking said.

Like so many organizations during the pandemic, in order to do their part, they had to re-purpose.

With facilities where they once served now closed, St Benedict’s adapted and got a mobile unit. The pandemic only heightening the need for their service.

“We have seen the number of folks living out of their vehicles go way up. Folks needing food assistance, having all different types of food insecurity,” Dierking said.

She finds some of the homeless population want to go to area shelters but they are afraid of getting COVID.  

“Our homeless neighbors travel around a lot, the same way that we want to travel, so do they want to feel safe,” Dierking said. Paramount to their needs: safety and trust.

Members they serve actually asking St. Benedict’s if they would provide the vaccine simply because those community members wanted to go to someone they could trust.

“Folks are unsure. It felt like this vaccine came about so quick, and we’re all just reeling from this pandemic,” Dierking said.

St. Benedict’s Health and Healing Ministry is looking for volunteers, both clinical and non-clinical.

Their first large, no-appointment-necessary vaccine clinic is at Sister Carmen’s Community Center in Lafayette on May 5. They will be there from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and people can also collect their food boxes.

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