Prisma Health launches mobile vaccination for rural and underserved communities

Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 4:27 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - Prima Health has announced it will be launching mobile vaccination units to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to rural and underserved communities.

The custom-equipped RV-type vehicles will be staffed with medical professionals.

Prisma Health is committed to ensuring access to rural and underserved areas, especially as vaccine eligibility widens to more age groups in the months ahead.

Prisma Health physician and COVID-19 mobile operations leader Dr. Kerry Sease is excited about the mobile vaccination effort.

“Our team is ready and our trusted community partners, those organizations who intimately know the challenges facing their local residents and whole neighborhoods, are so important in this collaborative effort. They will serve as our host sites and help us specifically reach those who are vulnerable, eligible, and ready to get vaccinated,” Dr. Sease said.

Prisma Health’s Mobile Health Clinic’s community-specific events require appointment times and will be organized as drive-through sites. The events will be contingent on vaccine availability and weather conditions.

Community partners in targeted areas are reaching out to their constituents and assisting individuals with making appointments for the mobile events. The mobile units then will return to each location approximately three weeks later to administer second doses as well as limited first doses and walk-ups for those who are eligible.

Following the pilot events, the program is set to deploy up to three Mobile Health Clinic vehicles in the Upstate and three more of the special vehicles have been ordered for the Midlands service area. Three of the mobile health units were made possible through Greenville County CARES Act funding.

When fully operational by late spring, a total of seven Mobile Health Clinic vehicles will be ready to serve areas with healthcare access challenges for vaccinations. For example, people living in rural areas with limited broadband access and those who don’t have email accounts have difficulty registering online for appointments or receiving information about being vaccinated. Data also indicates that minority populations have been severely impacted by the pandemic and have limited access to vaccination opportunities. Other challenges include the availability of transportation and assistance for the elderly.

Planning for the mobile vaccination effort is ongoing, pending vaccine availability, site confirmation, and for each Mobile Health Clinic by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

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