Organizations are marking Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday by hosting special COVID-19 vaccination events.
Allegheny West Foundation, (AWF) is hosting a free COVID vaccination clinic on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Patriot Pharmacy at 2951 N. 22nd St.
The clinic comes as ZIP codes 19132 and 19140 remain areas of the city where the vaccination rates are not as high as they could be, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
“What better way to observe Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday than serving the community?,” Ron Hinton, president of Allegheny West Foundation said in a statement.
“If Dr. King were alive right now, I believe he would have been on the front lines, working and trying to get people vaccinated against COVID, so we can slow down the aggression of this pandemic.”
People can call Patriot Pharmacy at (267) 800-7087 to RSVP and walk-ins will be accepted. The Moderna vaccination will be administered during the event.
“We’ve been offering free COVID tested at our location on N. 22nd Street since the test became available and as soon as the Covid-19 immunizations were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), we were pleased to be able to offer the vaccinations at our location as well,” Shai Fellah, one of the owners of Patriot Pharmacy said in a news release.
City Councilmember Cindy Bass will have some of her staff on-site at the event to help welcome residents and to sign them in. The first 75 people ages 18 and over who get vaccinated will receive a full bag of groceries, compliments of AWF and Bass.
Cheyney hosts vaccination eventCheyney University is hosting a “Justice in Action” vaccination event for MLK Day on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marian Anderson Music Center. As part of the Keep Black Love Alive campaign, the nationwide series of events aims to leverage the civic infrastructure of the African American community to boost confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
The campaign focuses on explaining the safety and efficacy of vaccines, developed by experts including Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett. Corbett is among the National Institutes of Health scientists who worked directly to develop and produce the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination.
“I felt like it was necessary to be seen and to not be a hidden figure, so to speak. I felt that it was important to do that because of the level of visibility that it would have to younger scientists and also to people of color who have often worked behind the scenes and essentially([who have) done the dirty work for these large efforts toward a vaccine,” Corbett said in a news release.
“So, the first thing you might want to say to my African American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you’re going to be taking was developed by an African American woman. And that is just a fact.”
The MLK Day event is designed to serve as a creative outlet to address the challenges of the pandemic and social inequities through music, storytelling and art-creating stations. Lillian DeBaptise, the new mayor of West Chester, will also be a motivational speaker at the event.
The event features vaccinations and booster shots funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.