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Joplin's community clinic aims to boost vaccination rates with grant funds

Joplin Globe - 10/26/2023

Oct. 25—The Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri has joined the You've Got This campaign, an initiative of USAging to boost vaccination rates for older adults and people with disabilities.

The campaign connects grant funding from the U.S. Administration for Community Living with communities serving older adults, people with disabilities and residents from historically marginalized or underserved groups where vaccination rates are low. USAging is the nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that represents and supports the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Through the campaign, the clinic in Joplin will provide flu and COVID-19 vaccines and referrals through a number of partner organizations, including the Area Agency on Aging, senior centers, centers for independent living and others. Services will include home delivery of vaccines to homebound individuals and outreach clinics at homeless shelters, schools and other social service providers.

"As part of this campaign, we are significantly increasing our vaccine program and providing more outreach than ever before to ensure that we reach those most in need, specifically older adults and those with disabilities," said Stephanie Brady, the clinic's executive director, in a statement. "We are so appreciative of the funding provided through USAging that will enable us to do the work that is very much needed in Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas."

The Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri is a nonprofit organization that provides medical, dental and mental health services for uninsured residents. A majority of patients are the working poor, meaning they make too much money for Medicaid but lack the resources to be able to afford marketplace insurance.

"More than three years into the pandemic, our grantees are helping those who need it most — older adults and people with disabilities — get vaccinated," said Sandy Markwood, USAging CEO, in a statement. "In fact, many of our grantees report that a good number of the people attending their events are getting their very first COVID-19 vaccinations — a considerable achievement."

No appointment is necessary for the flu vaccine; patients can visit the clinic any time from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Brady said. Flu vaccines are open to anyone 3 and older, regardless of income and insurance status, she said.

Other vaccines are provided on a risk-factor basis and are primarily for clinic patients, she said.

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