The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium has marked a significant milestone, vaccinating more than 25,000 people in 31 days — with 75% being African American.
On Sunday, the organization celebrated the accomplishment by dancing on Broad Street in front of the Liacouras Center.
“We’re accomplishing our goal,” Dr. Ala Stanford, founder of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, said of the organization’s work in administering vaccinations.
“The goal is always to serve those who typically don’t have access. From the public health measure, it’s decreasing the spread in the communities where it spreads the most and where it’s present the most. It’s being able to have empathy while you’re delivering it.”
The consortium has reported that 82% of the more than 25,000 people vaccinated are people of color and 75% are African American. On average, the organization vaccinates about 1,000 people at each vaccine clinic.
“It’s good because we know that we’re meeting our mark,” Stanford said.
“It makes you want to keep coming back to work when you’re hitting your mark every day.”
The organization’s work comes as African Americans are being diagnosed at a disproportionately higher rate than other groups and are dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate than other groups.
The consortium is now vaccinating people who are eligible for Phase 1A or Phase 1B and reside in the ZIP codes with high COVID positivity rates.
Lula Brown, a 63-year-old Hunting Park resident, was among those waiting in line to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Monday at the Liacouras Center.
“Initially, I just did not want to take the vaccine,” she said.
“I’m a nurse but I still didn’t want to take the shot. There was a little part of me not trusting it because it was put together so fast.”
However, she decided to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since it was only one shot and she wants to travel to North Carolina and visit her new grandchild.
The clinic on Temple University’s campus has three lines: one for those 75 and over, another for first doses and a third for those getting their second dose.
When the consortium held a 24-hour mass vaccination event, more than 4,000 people turned out.
The organization is hosting two follow-up sessions for people who attended that event to receive their second shots on March 22 and 23 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Liacouras Center. Vaccination clinics will also be held March 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and March 26 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Liacouras Center.
The consortium is offering both the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines.
“The thing about it is that the Johnson and Johnson [vaccine] was studied with the variants that are out and present and the other ones were not,” Stanford said.
“There was no South African variant, there was not a Brazilian variant when the Moderna and Pfizer trials were going on.”
She said all three of the vaccinations are effective in helping to prevent transmission of the disease and reducing hospitalization and death from COVID-19.