August 24, 2021
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PdNHF) and El Paso County are Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 by taking vaccines directly to men ages 18-50 years old in El Paso. According to County data and recent PdNHF focus groups, that demographic group is among the least vaccinated and least inclined to get vaccinated in the region.
“Focus group participants told us they knew how and where to get vaccinated; we were surprised to hear that many, especially young men, simply found the vaccination process to be too inconvenient” said Dr. Michael Kelly, Vice President of Programs at PdNHF. “Many also indicated they wouldn’t refuse the vaccine if they only had to expend minimal effort; it quickly became clear that we needed to find these folks at places they’re already going and literally bring the vaccine to them.”
Recently, a pop-up clinic was held during the El Paso Locomotive home match at Southwest University Park. Other locations targeted in the coming months include sporting and entertainment events, which tend to draw young, male audiences. Secondarily, the pop-up clinics will focus on the following county ZIP codes where many unvaccinated people remain: 79936, 79938, 79924 and 79912. Vaccines will be administered by volunteer medical students from the Texas Tech University Health Science Center along with partners from University Medical Center of El Paso, the Texas Department of State Health Services, El Paso County Emergency Services District 2 and Centro San Vicente.
“El Pasoans should be proud that the countywide vaccination rate is outpacing other large Texas counties. For the health of our entire community, we have to turn our attention to helping those who haven’t gotten vaccinated — whoever they are and wherever they are,” Kelly said. “Nearly two-thirds of those who have died of COVID-19 in El Paso County are male. Also, most COVID deaths are among people with underlying health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.” Other participants in the Reduce the Risk campaign include the City of El Paso, the Paso del Norte Community Foundation, UTEP’s Border Biomedical Research Center, Texas Tech University Health Science Center El Paso, Texas A&M University’s Colonias Program, the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network, the Rio Grande Council of Governments, Centro San Vicente and the Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County.
To learn more about additional pop-up clinics, visit reducetherisk915.org or follow us on Facebook at /epcommservices.
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