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THD Teams Up With Caring Van to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Accessibility to Minority Community Members

TULSA, OK – [January 29, 2021] – The Tulsa Health Department (THD) is working in partnership with the Oklahoma Caring Foundation to better reach at-risk communities and provide equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines for Tulsa County residents who are currently eligible. Eligible residents at this time include health care workers, first responders, and adults age 65 and older. 

Mobile Caring Vans will be offering the vaccine at several local churches and community centers serving predominantly minority residents. THD will provide the vaccines to be used at the mobile clinics, which will serve 80-120 individuals at each location. 

“The Oklahoma Caring Foundation has been a tremendous community partner for THD for more than 20 years, and we routinely work together to ensure equitable access to immunizations in Tulsa County,” said THD Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart.  “We are pleased to partner with them to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents in low access areas in Tulsa County, especially in places where English may not be their native language.

Ensuring equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority for THD. Recent research shows disparities in both the number of COVID-19 cases and willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine among minority communities.

While there are many reasons for vaccine hesitancy, we strive to remove barriers related to transportation and vaccine access by establishing vaccine events in collaboration with community organizations, faith communities, and similar partners. 

“It is our mission to provide access to preventive health services, including vaccines. Our Foundation partners have made the commitment and investment in the community to build trust in our program. When our vans are present outside of a church or school, residents are familiar with who we are and what we do,” said Oklahoma Caring Foundation Manager Amy Pulliam.

Appointments for these clinics were handled through the church or community center, and filled within hours of opening. The Caring Vans will be visiting the following locations next week, and will return on the appropriate date to administer second doses to complete the series for full protection:

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church 
Metropolitan Baptist Church
Antioch Baptist Church 
New Jerusalem Baptist Church
Friendship Baptist Church
Tulsa Community Service Center 

“We are planning to expand to additional locations as the supply of vaccine allows. Interested church or community organizations can contact the Oklahoma Caring Foundation through our website,” added Pulliam.

Health equity is a cornerstone for the Tulsa Health Department, as many of the programs offered by the agency specifically work to improve health outcomes among underserved residents to close life expectancy gaps and create opportunities for equitable outcomes. 

We are committed to ensuring COVID-19 vaccine access to all communities, including minority communities in Tulsa County. 

“The greatest way to achieve improvements in health is to provide targeted support to those who experience the greatest health disparities in our own community,” said Dart. “This may not be the answer to the problem, but it’s a start in the right direction to provide equity in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines.”

More information regarding vaccine availability in Tulsa County can be found on our COVID-19 Vaccine Page. COVID-19 information along with all other content on its website is accessible in 8 languages by using the built-in Google translate tool that can be used in any browser or device. For information regarding the Oklahoma COVID-19 Vaccine Plan, including the priority population framework for Oklahoma, please visit 

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