New Orleans community health center working to vaccinate as many people as possible against COVID-19

Dozens of vaccine appointment fill up in minutes at CrescentCare

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The day finally arrived for 77-year-old Albert Charles to get his COVID-19 vaccine, “It was a little sting that was it,” Charles said. “I had been over here to get tested so they gave me a call and let me know.”

That call came from New Orleans community health center, CrescentCare. They’ve been vaccinating patients who are 70 and older against the Coronavirus. They will partner with the City to host a community vaccination clinic Saturday. The 120 slots they had available for people to call and make an appointment quickly filled up Friday.

“Even our clinic is going to have vaccines also next week, so, there are going to be more opportunities and more slots. You didn’t miss out. The City and the state are working very aggressively to roll this vaccine out and they are adding sites by the week,” said CrescentCare Chief Medical Officer Nicholas Van Sickels, M.D.

CrescentCare also wants to reach out to neighborhoods around their Elysian Fields location near St. Roch and the 7th and 9th Wards to get as many people as possible vaccinated.

“Reaching out to communities who don’t have access to healthcare on a regular basis is definitely one of the biggest challenges of combating the Covid-19 pandemic. I think health departments and community health centers play a strong role in this because we tend to have staff in locations that are integrated within the community and we can talk to neighborhood associations, we can talk to community leaders,” Van Sickels said.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell says more information will be coming soon about those next in line to receive the vaccine.

“We will see the 65 mark come sooner than later, we’re very much focusing on the next tier, which will be being able to vaccinate more city employees, more folks on the front lines, teachers are apart of that‚ hospitality workers and even me, looking forward to that as well,” said Cantrell.

As for Charles, he says he’s relieved to have received his first dose of the vaccine. He’s planning on coming back in 4 weeks to get his second shot. And, when it’s safe to do so, he looks forward to getting back out there to enjoy life.

“That’s what I like about it. I’ve been waiting for this chance to get out and do what I’ve been doing. I’m very active,” Charles said.

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