WYOMING, Mich. — Metro Health – University of Michigan Health has started offering COVID-19 vaccinations at its Community Clinic in Wyoming, which focuses on caring for underserved populations.
Located at 781 36th St. SE near Eastern Avenue, the Community Clinic is Metro Health’s first vaccine distribution site outside the main hospital, according to a news release Tuesday.
The site was chosen to expand access to vulnerable groups and to help those hit hardest by the pandemic.
“Many of the patients who rely on the Community Clinic face racial and social disparities that put them at greater risk for contracting COVID-19,” said Lori Price, chief operating officer at Metro Health – University of Michigan Health. “Those same disparities contribute to underlying conditions that can add to the severity of the illness. These patients need and deserve the protection of the vaccine.”
Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control show COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths are disproportionately higher for non-white populations.
Studies also show a disproportionate impact on impoverished communities.
These trends are reflected in West Michigan, with nine of the top 10 ZIP codes served by the Community Clinic matching the top 10 ZIP codes for COVID-19 cases in Kent County – which make up more than half of the county’s total 47,739 cases as of Feb. 13.
Distribution at the Community Clinic will follow state guidelines for eligibility, and patients will be able to schedule via phone or MyChart.
Clinic staff will also reach out directly to the most at-risk patients.
After eligible Community Clinic patients have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, the site will open to the general public.
The clinic has a multilingual staff and comprehensive services, including social workers and a case manager.
Staff helps with Medicaid applications and accessing medication and medical financial assistance.
SEE MORE: CORONAVIRUS IN WEST MICHIGAN