Three health clinics based in Santa Barbara County, one in a San Luis Obispo County and one in Ventura County have been invited to join a federal program mean to get more vaccines in the arms of people who need them most.
The Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program was launched by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to directly allocate COVID-19 vaccines to underserved communities and make sure people disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 get equal access to vaccines.
The three clinics that have been invited to join the program in Santa Barbara are American Indian Health & Services; Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, a network of seven clinics in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Isla Vista; and the county of Santa Barbara’s public clinic. In Ventura, Clinicas Del Camino Real, a clinic system with 15 locations, is participating, and in Nipomo, the Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, with one location in Santa Maria and two in southern San Luis Obispo County, is participating. The Central Coast has five of the 116 facilities in the state to be invited to join the program.
“Our most historically underserved communities have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla said in a news release announcing the program. “Many in these communities have not had the option of not going to work or working remotely, increasing their risk of exposure to coronavirus. The vaccines offer hope, but access has remained an issue. With dozens of California health centers joining the Health Resources and Service Administration program, these lifesaving vaccines will be more accessible to our most vulnerable communities.”