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UCSF Partnership With San Francisco Brings COVID-19 Vaccinations to the Mission District

The collaboration of the Latino Task Force is based on test websites set up in the community

By Laura Kurtzman

Annie Jupiter-Jones (left), a volunteer with the Latino Task Force Food Hub who delivers isolated food to seniors, disabled people and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, receives a vaccination at a clinic in the mission district. The clinic is a partnership between UCSF, the Latino Task Force, and the City of San Francisco. Photo by Mike Kai Chen

When researchers from UC San Francisco and their community partners working with Unidos en Salud asked the people who came to their COVID-19 testing site in the San Francisco Mission District to be vaccinated, a whopping 86 percent said yes.

That’s a higher number of people willing to be vaccinated than multiple national, statewide, or even Bay Area surveys have shown – and testament to the confidence that Diane Havlir, MD, and colleagues at UCSF have over many The Latino Task Force built up over the months to help a community that has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus.

Now, with the help of the San Francisco Department of Health, Unidos en Salud is bringing vaccines to the people in the mission district. If there is a limited supply, the first doses will be given to community health workers and people aged 65 and over.

“The data is overwhelming when it comes to dispelling the myth that the entire Latinx community is vaccine reluctant,” said Havlir, a UCSF professor of medicine who worked with the leaders of the Latino Task Force on Unidos Create Salud That Offers Rapid Tests and Response “services on BART Square on the 24th and Mission.

Carina Marquez, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at UCSF and a leader in developing the rapid response model with the Latino Task Force, said the community vaccine hub was the perfect addition to the proving ground.

“With this vaccination center, we can identify and support those who become infected during this surge, and we are also ready to grow the community and protect it with vaccines once supplies open up.”

The mission site is the first of a network of city-run community vaccination centers bringing vaccines to neighborhoods – including Bayview, Excelsior, and Visitacion Valley – with the highest rates of infection for COVID-19 and limited access to health care services.

Woman and her son talk to the San Francisco Mayor London Breed

Marisol Guillen (second from left), a Latino Task Force volunteer, and her son greet the Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, at the opening of Unidos En Salud’s first COVID-19 mass vaccination site. The partnership between UCSF and the Latino Task Force opened a website for key people at the forefront of the Latinx community. Photo by Mike Kai Chen

“This vaccination site is an important step forward in providing convenient, culturally literate vaccine access to the Mission District, a neighborhood hit hard by the tragedies of COVID-19,” said San Francisco Mayor, London N. Breed. The network, she added, builds on the successful partnership the city has built with UCSF and the Latino Task Force to expand vaccination to the missionary community and “will help turn the tide on COVID-19” .

Havlir and Joe DeRisi, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, worked with community partners in the Unidos en Salud collaboration to study the virus’ path through the local community by looking at the virus Identify evolving strains and understand which public health interventions are most effective for working people exposed both in the workplace and in crowded living conditions at home.

UCSF’s private funding for the Mission District Vaccination Center was provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, McKinnon Family Foundation, Carl Kawaja and Wendy Holcombe, and donors from the UCSF COVID-19 Response Fund and Unidos en Salud / United in Health San Francisco Project.

“At UCSF, we are committed to continuing our ongoing partnership with the Mayor and the Department of Health to protect our city’s most vulnerable communities from COVID-19,” said Sam Hawgood, MBBS, UCSF Chancellor. “By continuing our collaborative community testing programs and now making vaccines available in hard-hit areas where the virus is spreading rapidly, we can prevent more suffering and help protect the entire city from this virus.”

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