New Mini-Documentary Celebrates FQHC Vaccination Outreach in Puerto Rico and St. Croix, Virgin Islands
As vaccines became available in US territories, numerous obstacles to vaccination arose, including gaps in infrastructure as a result of economic instability and natural disasters, and widespread hesitancy. Yet, some Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) have played incredibly important roles in COVID response and vaccination efforts across the US and its territories. Hospital General Castañer in Puerto Rico and Frederiksted Health Care in St Croix are two FQHCs that meet their communities where they are, and understand their needs better than an outside organization, but struggle with resources, vaccine hesitancy, and distribution. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands’ health centers face structural difficulties that leave them without sufficient vital resources and create barriers to vaccination events. While Frederiksted Health Care did not face as many difficulties when it came to accessing the vaccines, many people were hesitant to get the vaccines, including some staff at the health center. This is where organizations like Migrant Clinicians Network and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) assist with bringing in multilingual communications resources, providing education to clinicians, helping with overall vaccine distribution strategy, and highlighting their creativity.
By teaming up with FQHCs, we are able to ensure that the health centers have what they need to meet the needs of their communities, and the health centers can advance their mission of better health outcomes for all.
The two health centers are featured in this new NACHC mini-documentary (featuring some lovely narration by our own Deliana Garcia) that showcases much of the work they do to protect their communities. You can watch the video here: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Vaccination Outreach in Puerto Rico and St. Croix - YouTube