Mobile health provider VIP StarNetwork, which provides medical services to clients including Netflix, Amazon and Warner Bros., joined forces with the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, the National Action Network and Bethany Baptist Church to encourage communities of color to get vaccinated.
The company, which is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mass vaccination provider, hosted a community block party on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York, in front of Bethany Baptist Church, where volunteers, medical professionals and law enforcement provided food and information over the COVID-19 vaccine.
The event, which was held over the course of six hours, provided visitors with written materials about the vaccine as well as hosted Q&A sessions with medical professionals for residents to learn more about how the vaccine works.
VIP StarNetwork additionally operated COVID-19 vaccination vans through which residents could receive doses of the newly FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Comirnaty.
The event was an opportunity to reach people who do not traditionally have access to resources such as social media or the internet including the elderly or the homeless, said Johonniuss Chemweno, CEO of VIPStarNetwork.
“Bringing all of these organizations together allows us to tap into different platforms and messaging based on the needs of the community that we might not really understand,” he said. “Some of the people in this community might not be able-bodied or have access to the internet to learn more information about the vaccine. They might not know where to go, so we're bringing them access in a framework that allows them to actually hold the vaccine.”
He noted that attractions such as games and music allow parents an opportunity to bring their children as well and possibly get them vaccinated.
Prior to reaching Brooklyn, VIP StarNetwork held similar events in Harlem and will continue to travel through both the five boroughs and northern New York, as a partner of New York State and New York City’s Department of Health.
The company has also worked to bring similar mobile sites to New Mexico and is engaging with other states such as Georgia and Connecticut to conduct similar campaigns. Chemweno declined to go into further detail.
“[Events like this] allow us to know [the community] is getting information that's trustworthy from their peers and family members,” Chemweno said. “Once people in their own community have been vaccinated, it helps build trust on a larger scale.”
This story first appeared on PRWeek US.