PASADENA (CBSLA) -- The Pasadena NAACP is open Saturday morning for a limited COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
The clinic will be administering about 100 doses of the vaccine by appointment only.
Allen Edson, the president of Pasadena's NAACP chapter, said that getting access to doses of the vaccine was a challenge, but it was important for him to be able to offer them to those in the community who truly needed them.
"It's really important because the African American community has been suffering the most and getting access to the vaccine has been a real challenge," Edson said. "We've got seniors that can't make it to some of these drive-in sites."
He continued, "Also, a lot of our community members don't have access to internet. So, to arrange an appointment at some of these larger sites has been very difficult."
Edson said he'll be receiving a first dose of the vaccine Saturday morning, which he hopes will alleviate some fear others may have about it.
"Those fears come from a history of the medical community taking advantage of the Black community," he said. "I want to lead by example...I'm hopeful that people will follow my lead and we'll be able to continue vaccinations into the summer."
The Pasadena NAACP is working hard to secure more doses of the vaccine so that they can continue these targeted clinics, Edson said.
"We've got some very ambitious goals," Edson said.
Mary Wells said she had wanted to get the vaccine but wasn't sure where to go.
"This here virus is going around and they said more coming and I don't want it!" she said. "I was gonna go and get it but I didn't know where to get it, being so far away."
The state of California announced Friday that healthcare providers will be able to start vaccinating those with compromised immune systems and disabilities starting March 15.
Healthcare providers may use their clinical judgment to vaccinate individuals age 16 to 64 who are deemed to be at the very highest risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 as a direct result of one or more of the following severe health conditions:
- Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state
- Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
- Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen-dependent
- Down syndrome
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excludes hypertension)
- Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%
The new guidance also allows vaccinations for people with developmental or severe disabilities that leave that at high-risk if they are infected including the following:
- The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
- Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual's ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival
- Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual's disability
Currently, vaccines may be distributed to populations identified in Phase 1A and Phase 1B, Tier 1. and Phase 1B, Tier 1.
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