© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cleveland Clinic Offers Vaccine Clinic At Fairfax Community Health Center

Nearly 350 people received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week at the Langston Hughes Community Health Center, part of the Cleveland Clinic network.

The health center is offering weekly vaccination clinics as part of an effort to reach people of color and underserved or at-risk populations.

Community organizations and Clinic partners expressed a desire for a vaccination clinic in the same neighborhood as the health center, located on East 79 Street in the Fairfax neighborhood, said Dr. Melissa Li-Ng, an endocrinologist and program director with the Cleveland Clinic. Now that the supply of vaccines is increasing, she said, the Clinic can expand vaccinations to sites like the health center.

“We are adamant about not leaving anybody behind, and really putting a lot of effort into educating the public,” Li-Ng said. “How the vaccine works, what the side effects are, how the vaccine was made, how it’s being distributed.”

The Langston Hughes Community Health and Education Center has served as a site for outreach and community engagement for several years, Li-Ng said. Established connections with both residents and leadership is helping get people in the door to learn about the vaccine, she said.

But some residents are still hesitant about the vaccine. Staff will continue to be onsite to answer questions, Li-Ng said, to educate rather than pressure.

“We have providers onsite, pharmacy as well as nursing and medical and physician providers to be able to, not talk people into the vaccine, but certainly to help educate them,” Li-Ng said.

The Cleveland Clinic is working with local churches, health officials, patient and minority advocacy groups and other Northeast Ohio stakeholders to ensure every community has access to the vaccine, Li-Ng said, through one-on-one conversations, email, public forums, podcasts and webinars.

“It’s not about forcing people to get the vaccine,” Li-Ng said. “It’s more about giving them the information that they need to make the best decision for them and for their families.”

The Cleveland Clinic is looking into options for expanding vaccination clinics and reaching more local neighborhoods and communities, Li-Ng said. Meanwhile, the Langston Hughes site will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday as long as it is needed.

Copyright 2021 90.3 WCPN ideastream. To see more, visit 90.3 WCPN ideastream.