SELA Collaborative and Hub Cities lead coordination efforts for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Southeast Los Angeles
Mobile Vaccine Unit in South Gate Park vaccinates over eight hundred Southeast Los Angeles community members with help from SELA nonprofits.
"We had less than 6 hours to establish a process, test it, and launch to register 550 community members for this [past] weekend," stated Dr. Wilma Franco, the Executive Director of the SELA Collaborative. "And in less than 17 hours we had confirmed ALL 550 appointments"
COVID-19 has devasted black and brown communities many of whom are on the front lines, yet vaccination sites and vaccines have failed to reach the people that need them most. Challenges include language barriers, the lack of technology and the digital divide, shortage of transportation assistance and mistrust in government.
The Vice Mayor of Cudahy, Elizabeth Alcantar agreed, "the pandemic has been especially difficult on our Southeast LA communities who have faced extreme barriers to much needed resources. This weekend was just the beginning in breaking down those barriers for our residents and ensuring they have access to the COVID-19 vaccine in their own neighborhoods."
Working together community based organizations (CBOs), local city partners, elected officials and trusted community leaders can help address many of these hurdles. Vice Mayor Alcantar said she gives thanks to "...our local and regional leaders, our community organizations, and our residents for their dedication and commitment to equity and success for SELA".
Dr. Franco observed, "this vaccination effort is truly a beautiful moment that exemplifies collaboration, partnership and unwavering commitment to our community. It was short notice, but our SELA Leaders stepped right in to ensure our community received the vaccine." She also acknowledges the tremendous support from the Office of Supervisor Solis, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, Senator Lena Gonzalez, and Speaker Anthony Rendon who helped coordinate with SELA city officials.
Those looking for COVID-19 vaccine information can visit covid19.ca.gov/
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Southeast Los Angeles Collaborative was founded in 2011 as a network of organizations working together to strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit sector and increase civic engagement in Southeast LA. Through its 12 member partners SELA Collaborative works to strengthen the SELA community, build collective power, and encourage innovation to drive regional systemic change. For more information please visit www.SELACollab.org