More than 1,000 people received free COVID-19 vaccinations at events led by Dr. Jerry Abraham and the staff of Kedren Health Center on May 15-16.
African immigrants, transsexual and non-binary persons and local residents of all ages were among the people receiving the shot at Kedren’s Avalon Blvd. facility in South L.A. Also, hundreds more were vaccinated at clinics hosted at the Nickerson Gardens public housing complex and Southern Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles.
“We must meet people where they are. That is the Kedren Way, where we treat people – including African refugees and immigrants – in need of COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Abraham, who works with governmental and nonprofit agencies to arrange the mobile clinics.
For last weekend’s events, Kedren coordinated with Senait Admassu, executive director of the African Communities Public Health Coalition; Tsega Habte, a pharmacist and Eritrean immigrant; and Mr. Alpha of the Muslim community. Other co-sponsors were L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, L.A. Civil and Human Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox, L.A. County Department of Health Services (DHS), International Institute of Tolerance, Masjid As-Salaam, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Also, several multicultural and multigenerational collaborators donated their time and talents to the occasions, which featured refreshments and music, said Habte. “We had volunteers from 4South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, India, and Sierra Leone and college students who were very instrumental. Last, but not least, Kedren employees worked very diligently,” she noted.
The vaccination clinics are part of Abraham’s campaign to inoculate as many people as possible throughout the greater metropolitan area. He said upcoming free vaccine events are set for Saturday, May 22, at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral; on Sunday, May 23, at Los Angeles Community College; and at several LAUSD schools during the week of May 24-28.
Four clinics will take place on May 29 for underserved groups. American Indians and Native Alaskans will be encouraged to get vaccinations at the event at L.A. Historic Park. Church congregations are the focus of clinics planned at Calvary Baptist Church, Knox Presbyterian Church and St. James Armenian Apostolic Church, all in Los Angeles.
“To date, Kedren has vaccinated over 200,000+ as we march toward herd immunity and ending this pandemic [and] as we take these vaccines on the road in our mobile vaccination units, meeting people where they live, work, worship, play and go to school,” said Abraham.
“The experience counts…especially when strategically and intentionally creating safe spaces for marginalized and medically-underserved populations including refugees, transgender individuals, indigenous peoples, among others,” he added.
And if the Department of Public Health approves, Abraham plans to take his vaccines on the road with the aim of “vaccinating people on the border with Mexico and Canada, and across the border, even into sub-Saharan Africa and India!”
For information about Kedren’s vaccination schedule, call (323) 499-3619 or email [email protected]