TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A GraceMed Health Clinic in Topeka will get direct supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to give shots to minority and underserved residents, according to a spokesperson for the organization Tuesday morning.
The Centers for Disease Control along with the federal Health Resources & Services Administration selected GraceMed’s non-profit network of health centers as one of 250 to get 1 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The reason it was chosen, according to the organization, is it serves a demographic of harder to reach patients. These include homeless, public housing residents, migratory and seasonal agricultural workers, people with limited English proficiency and seniors 65 and older.
“We expect to have the vaccines available the week of March 8, and can begin setting up appointments prior to their arrival,” said GraceMed CEO Venus Lee. “One of our priorities at GraceMed will be to reach out to minority residents who have been reluctant to get the vaccine. These are the segments of our community that we serve all the time, so we hope they will trust us when we tell them the vaccine is both safe and effective.”
GraceMed said it will follow Kansas’ guidance on who can get the vaccine at the moment. The state is currently in Phase 2, which has three major categories of people eligible including seniors 65 and older. Locally, Shawnee County is also focusing on vaccinating K-12 education staff to get students back to in-person learning but is having Stormont Vail Health and St. Francis Hospital focus on that effort. One exception to common guidance GraceMed mentioned was that anyone, whether they are an existing GraceMed patient or not, or live in Shawnee County or not, can get vaccinated at its clinics.
GraceMed has two locations in Topeka, but its central Topeka location at 1400 SW Huntoon St. specifically will focus on vaccinations. The clinic said it won’t charge patients anything to get the shot.
To schedule an appointment to get the vaccine, call 785-861-8800. For more information about GraceMed Health Clinics, click here to visit the network’s website.