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Centro Hispano and Tower Health Partner to Vaccinate Over 1100 Senior Citizens

by Centro Hispano Daniel Torres

Centro Hispano and Tower Health Partner to Vaccinate Over 1100 Senior Citizens

Centro Hispano Daniel Torres Inc. hosted a Covid-19 pop-up vaccination clinic on  Saturday March 6th to vaccinate some of the most vulnerable community members living in the city.  Tower Health set an initial goal of administering 400 doses.  This was quickly doubled to 800, than increased to 1000 doses due to the community outreach of the Centro Hispano network and members. The final count of vaccines that were administered at the clinic was 1174 1st doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Centro Hispano spent the previous weeks registering seniors 65+ from their senior center membership and partnered with the Berks County Area Agency on Aging and the Reading Housing authority team to identify seniors in the city most at risk who were interested in receiving the vaccination.  With a goal in-mind to vaccinate the city of Reading’s most vulnerable members of our community, the Centro led efforts to break barriers that were preventing these residents from registering through online portals.  Seniors were able to pre-register via phone calls to Centro Hispano bilingual staff and volunteers making the registration process simple and seamless for these residents.

Mike Toledo, President and CEO of Centro Hispano pointed out the percentage of our most vulnerable who have been vaccinated needs to increase exponentially. “We truly believe that it is not just Centro Hispano’s mission, but should be the mission for all who have access to administer the vaccine to reach all in our vulnerable community, this is especially crucial for our Latino and Black communities, that already have a higher co-morbidity rate than any other ethnic group, to get vaccinated.”

Pictured L-R: Dr. Anthony Donato, Reading Hospital, Michel Toledo, Centro Hispano, Dr. Olubunmi Ojikutu, Reading Hospital, James Cook, Reading Hospital, and Desha Dickson, Reading Hospital

Centro had dozens of employees and volunteers on site signing in and directing those with an appointment through the process of receiving the first of two doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, as well as providing interpreters for those clients who needed it. Preparing for the cold weather, Centro Hispano made use of every inch of space available to us in our building to make sure no one was stuck waiting outside for their vaccine.

Once inside the senior center, the Reading Hospital Team had a brigade of physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel volunteers ready to provide the over 1000 vaccinations available to those who have registered. With a final count of 1,174 doses provided, this was the most successful vaccine clinic for seniors in Berks County to date.

Desha Dickson, Associate Vice President, Community Wellness at Reading Hospital stated, “Our collective efforts on Saturday, demonstrate what can be accomplished when we work together toward a shared vision. At Reading Hospital, we remain focused on our commitment to advance health and transform lives.”

Organization leaders say their plan is to continue these vaccine clinics as often as they possible, to help us get to the goal of herd immunity for our city and county.