Vaccine clinics in Aurora seek to combat disparities for underrepresented communities

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AURORA, Colo. — As more and more people become available for the COVID-19 vaccine, many health experts are speaking out about disparities in underserved communities. In Aurora, some health leaders are taking action to combat those disparities head-on.

“I think it’s a good thing when we can provide access to a community, when we can provide a service, and when these services are generated from our community,” said Dr. Kweku Hazel, a surgeon at UCHealth in Aurora and an organizer for a mass-vaccination clinic at Solid Rock Baptist Church that will vaccinate 800 people in the Ghanaian community there. “It’s busy. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very fulfilling.”

Reservations for the vaccination clinic at Solid Rock Baptist Church are closed, but organizers say they have hundreds on the waiting list. It is a good sign that vaccines are reaching communities that might not otherwise have access.

“I am a Medical Doctor, I’m also a surgeon, and being from the community — being Black, being an immigrant being from Ghana — we are in a unique position to be able to really address and bridge that gap,” said Dr. Kweku Hazel. “That’s what we use to be able to address these systems of inequality and also provide access and address hesitancy at the same time.