ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A free COVID-19 testing and flu vaccine clinic opened in the city on Monday. This is part of a series of pop-up clinics happening over the next couple weeks at churches in the city. People can get walk up and get a COVID test, a flu shot, or both.
Dr. Linda Clark is the senior health advisor at Common Ground Health. She said it’s especially important for people to get their flu shot this year because it is possible to get the flu at the same time as COVID-19.
“We’ve picked some areas within the crescent of our city, the higher risk zip codes where we have more poverty, more concentration black and brown people, to make sure they have access to COVID testing first of all but also to the flu vaccine,” said Dr. Clark.
Dr. Marielena Velez de Brown and Dr. Jonathan McReynolds said transportation is a huge issue when it comes to access to healthcare.
“There are some challenges with some locations only being a drive up swabbing locations, that’s a challenge for someone who doesn’t own a car,” said Dr. Velez de Brown.
“It’s a challenge to take buses or pay for transportation and there’s some people that are apprehensive about going to certain places and being tested so this provides a friendly atmosphere somewhere that’s highly accessible to the community,” said Dr. McReynolds.
The COVID test is free and people can come with or without symptoms or insurance. The flu vaccine is free to those who do not have insurance. For those who have insurance, their insurance company will be billed for the vaccine, but no copay will be charged to the patient. Cephas Archie is the Rochester chief equity officer and said these clinics will also prepare the city for what’s to come.
“One of the significant components of this is to really set a pilot beta test for this, if you will, for if and when the vaccine is prepared. We can pipeline these we can use this model this approach to pipeline the vaccine into the community,” he said.
The clinics will run from 12 to 7 p.m. at four different churches around the city until October 17:
Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6, 7 Aenon Baptist Church 175 Genesee St., Rochester, NY 14611
Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 8, 9, 10 Greater Harvest Church 121 Driving Park Ave., Rochester, NY 14613
Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 12, 13, 14 Memorial AME Zion Church 549 Clarissa St., Rochester, NY 14608
Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 15, 16, 17 House of Prayer and Restoration 545 Hudson Ave, Rochester, NY 14605