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AHN, UPMC Hold Large-Scale Vaccine Distribution Events For Underserved Communities This Weekend

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Two large-scale vaccine distributions this weekend were aimed at getting shots into the arms of thousands.

In each syringe, there is a shot at getting back to a normal life for those like Louis Rash.

"I'm grateful. Thankful for it," Rash said.

One of the 1,500 plus people were ushered into this vaccine clinic hosted by the Allegheny Health Network at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Larmier.

"This is generational. We want to make sure that our legacy continues and the underrepresented especially the black and minority communities have been hit very hard," said AHN Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, Chief of Clinical Diversity.

UPMC hosted a similar clinic at Hosana House in Wilkinsburg.

The doses were being drawn up inside the pop-up clinic. Their goal is to vaccinate 1,000 people at 20 stations. This was one of many efforts this weekend to meet people where they are.

Separate providers on the same day were working with the same purpose: to bring vaccines to underserved communities and under-represented groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

"Wilkinsburg is among the many segregated neighborhoods that have experienced higher rates of COVID. It's important we bring vaccines to neighborhoods," said UPMC's Division Director of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Elizabeth Miller.

Both healthcare providers are furthering their reach by designating a percentage of their vaccine share for marginalized groups, while others like Louis Rash are doing their part through encouragement.

"I ain't trusting the shot," said Rash. "I'm trusting in God to help me use my brains to know that science is part of what he's created."

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