The city of Fort Worth is now an independent COVID-19 vaccine provider, city officials said this week.
Fort Worth is working on expanding the locations for available COVID-19 vaccine supplies and looking for ways to bring the vaccination clinics to the neighborhood, according to a city newsletter published Thursday.
The city is looking for organizations to host vaccination clinics in the community and has set certain minimum requirements:
- Provide a large indoor space for the location (e.g. a gym, family life center, cafeteria, or the like).
- Preferably with a separate entrance and exit
- Seven days in advance
- Fifty or more people interested in a vaccine
- Five 6-foot tables
- Thirty or more chairs
Rev. Melvin Wilson Jr., senior pastor of the Baker Chapel AME Church in Fort Worth, expressed support for the initiative on Saturday.
“I think that’s wonderful,” said Wilson. “We are more than ready to offer help and be a part of it. I think more cooperation needs to be done to build trust. “
The Church held its monthly grocery giveaway on Saturday at its Humbolt Street location in Fort Worth. Baker Chapel AME Church is located at 76104, which was found to have the shortest life expectancy in Texas in a 2019 study by scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Saturday’s event also included vision screening, a mobile children’s clinic, counseling resources, and help with registration with polls and COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Wilson said he felt churches could help connect the community to health resources.
“For many years the church has been the high point of the parish, and so people can trust the church more than a parking lot or sometimes even one run by the city [site] with no church name attached, ”he said.
Rev. Courtene’y Martin, assistant minister at Baker Chapel AME, assisted slow traffic in registering COVID-19 vaccines. On Saturday lunchtime, she said they had signed up five people.
“One, because yes … they hesitate. Second, they received bad information from the start. They do not trust science and have had bad experiences with the medical community. So black and brown people are usually very… cautious, even skeptical, ”said Martin. “Please come out. Please log in. Please tell your friends and family so that we are safe. We cannot all be safe until we are all taken care of.”
Wilson said he hoped the active role churches and other places of worship play in distributing the vaccines will help with vaccination rates.
Organizations interested in establishing a Fort Worth vaccination clinic are encouraged to complete this form.