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The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) announced a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be held at Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS) on Ithaca’s West Hill Saturday, April 10, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m; 200 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are being designated for individuals who live in the West End and West Hill neighborhoods.

TCHD staff and volunteers are distributing links and directly helping individuals sign up in the City neighborhoods. If you or someone you know lives near LACS and need access to the vaccine, call 2-1-1 (877-211-8667) during business hours 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. to schedule your appointment at this clinic.

The pop-up clinic is designed to reach people of color and populations traditionally underserved by the healthcare system. This clinic follows the successful administration of 30 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses by REACH Medical at Southside Community Center on Monday, April 5; 20 additional vaccines will be administered by REACH to members of the Southside community later this week.

TCHD recently published information about the safety and efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on the COVID-19 Vaccines web page.

Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “The COVID-19 vaccine is for everyone. We’re committed to continuing to bring vaccine clinics to communities that have been underserved and ensuring access is shared across our community.” Kruppa continued, “Over 40,000 Tompkins County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far. The vaccines are safe for everyone and have already helped to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Samantha Stevenson, Director of Operations at The REACH Project and Reach Medical stated, “It’s our goal to ensure access to compassionate healthcare to everyone in our community, regardless of their situation or background. We’ve worked hard over the past few months to get vaccines to some of the most vulnerable people in the City of Ithaca. The clinic at Southside Community Center was an honor for us and different from our other vaccine clinics thus far.”

Stevenson continued, “We do see some of the most vulnerable people expressing hesitancy to take the vaccine. In most cases once our staff is able to explain the vaccines, people understand that it is safe and effective in preventing them from getting sick. We've also tried to share our own personal vaccine experiences as relatable reassurance

Dr. Nia Nunn, President of the Southside Community Center’s Board of Directors stated, “We were thrilled to partner with REACH Medical to host the vaccination pop-up clinic. On behalf of the Southside Community Center board of directors, we are beyond grateful for our dedicated staff who walked door to door, called neighbors, and participants to sign them up for appointments. It was beautiful to see our people getting vaccinated to protect themselves and our community. While many are in different places in their readiness to be vaccinated, we hope that having pop-up clinics, a space for questions and open conversations will encourage people to get the vaccine to help themselves and others stay safe."

The Health Department is also sharing reminders of the vaccine safety and efficacy with community members. TCHD has published a series of vaccine FAQs in various languages, and held “Office Hours” with trusted medical professionals of different backgrounds answering questions about the vaccines.

Any eligible individual can get vaccinated at State-run sites and can find available appointments via the “Am I Eligible” tool on the State website. Pharmacies are also vaccinating eligible individuals. 

For local updates and information, check the TCHD website

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