Mass vaccination site designed to help underserved communities; but is it working?

19 News has obtained the exact numbers of who is getting vaccinated at the Wolstein Center

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News has obtained the exact numbers of who is getting vaccinated at the Wolstein Center mass vaccination site on the Cleveland State Campus.

The Biden Administration and FEMA working with the state of Ohio and community partners, hoped the clinic would help get the vaccine to Cleveland’s most underserved communities but is that the case?

The Ohio Department of Health has provided two sets of numbers; the first is data showing the COVID-19 Vaccine has been administered to people who live in the most vulnerable zip codes. The other numbers are a breakdown of who has received the vaccine according to race.

When the mass vaccination site was announced in Cleveland, Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine said the location was strategic because 100 neighborhoods within a six-mile radius of the Wolstein Center are at “great than average risk” during the pandemic.

Three weeks after the Wolstein Center was set up as a vaccination site, the numbers show 46.55% of the first doses of the vaccine were administered to people living in ZIP codes associated with the high Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). Governor DeWine says that’s exceeded the state’s goal of 40%. Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish says, “The number of minorities getting vaccinated has increased significantly, but we are nowhere near where we should be.”

Doctor Lolita McDavid is the Medical Director for Child Advocacy and Protection at Rainbow Babies and Childrens’ Hospital in Cleveland and says there are still factors that keep people from getting the vaccine, “It really has to do with social determinants of health and people don’t want to talk about that. That has to do with where you live, food insecurity, and transportation.”

The second set of numbers from the Wolstein Center showed a breakdown of how many people of a particular race have received the vaccine so far from the site.

In total, 120,533 people have been vaccinated at the Wolstein Center from March 15th thru April 5th, a three-week period. The majority of those who received the vaccine are White, and they make up 75.69% of that number. Only 9.41% of Blacks or African-Americans have been vaccinated at the Wolstein Center, as well as 4.82% of Hispanics and 6.84% of Asians.

But Doctor McDavid doesn’t feel the issue is Black or White, “What the Mayor does in Youngstown they have a bus, and they pick them up and immunize them in the bus. You stop, people get on, you immunize them, they wait 15 minutes, and then they can get off.”

The mass vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center will last five more weeks and will be open seven days a week, for twelve hours a day.

Copyright 2021 WOIO. All rights reserved.