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UW Health addresses disparities in COVID-19 vaccine rollout in community clinics

Pharmacies have become a central vaccine provider for more rural areas across the state.
Pharmacies have become a central vaccine provider for more rural areas across the state.(WIS)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 3:35 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW Health is partnering with organizations that serve communities of color in an effort to promote equity in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

UW Health will hold specific vaccination clinics with these groups over the coming months, the health system announced Tuesday.

In partnership with the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce, UW Health vaccinators were able to immunize almost 200 essential workers Monday in Dane County. Latinx-owned businesses, including restaurants and markets, were able to vaccinate their workers at UW Health’s Arboretum Clinic on 1102 South Park Street.

Vice president and chief diversity officer of UW Health, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, explained there is currently a lower rate of vaccinations among Black, Latinx and Asian communities.

“Given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities of color, it is vitally important to ensure racial equity in vaccination,” said Bidar-Sielaff. “At UW Health we stand committed to address these disparities through our vaccine racial equity initiative by creating dedicated access and removing barriers such as language and transportation.”

CEO of the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce, Jessica Cavazos, described the partnership with UW Health as “invaluable.”

“Our Latinx-owned businesses have been essential in serving the needs of the community during the pandemic and creating access to vaccines is a moral imperative,” said Cavazos.

Bidar-Sielaff said the health system will partner with more community groups over the next few months to hold vaccine clinics.

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