EDITORIAL: SCOW collaboration reaches a milestone

A Wallingford nonprofit says a recent mission was to make COVID vaccines accessible for everyone in the community. The organization has come very close to reaching that goal.

The Spanish Community of Wallingford recently surpassed its 100th vaccination clinic with a total of over 2,400 vaccines administered at those events. Partnering with medical providers and implementing a strategy to get the COVID shot out to the most people, SCOW has contributed to some very impressive numbers coming out of the Wallingford Health Department. And SCOW is not done yet.

A January 2023 report from the town’s health department found that over 80 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Record-Journal reporter Crystal Elescano recently wrote about the two-year effort that has had such great results. Wallingford Health Department, Griffin Health, and Hartford Healthcare worked with SCOW to make it all happen.

To reach the most people, the clinics needed to be easy to get to and be user-friendly — and that also required bilingual access. Weekend hours, good information and smart locations all contributed to this success. For instance, SCOW hosted online COVID-19 bilingual sessions and answered questions.

Hartford Healthcare's Neighborhood Health initiative provided additional services. At clinics, clients could get a COVID-19 vaccine, flu shot, have a memory exam, and get their glucose checked. A pharmacist was often on site to answer questions.

SCOW also helped with distributing free Personal Protection Equipment, testing kits, sanitizers and masks, bringing these to community events such as International Night, El Día Del Niño, and Wallingford’s 350+2 Jubilee.

While the lines for a vaccine are no longer out the door as they were at the height of the pandemic, SCOW plans to continue hosting clinics until the end of June. The federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration ended May 11, but Americans can still access vaccines at no cost until the government's supply runs out. After that, COVID-19 vaccines and treatments will transition to the traditional health care market, according to an update from the CDC.

Back in the spring of 2021, SCOW jumped into the fray, partnering with health providers to launch this critical vaccine program. That was an ambitious plan that required resolve to put in place. It was an uncertain time and dealing with a pandemic was new to us all.

SCOW led this outstanding effort and brought in key collaborators to help bring the plan together. The statistical results for the community’s vaccine rate speak to the success of the clinics. The work accomplished by all parties involved has made a notable impact and provided a good model for getting the job done.  


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