For Immediate Release
Campaign runs through end of the year; Data shows Latinos and Blacks highest infections rates, lowest vaccination rates in Alameda County
OAKLAND, CA — July 27, 2021 — COVID-19 is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and as the Delta variant is spreading, vaccine outreach targets the Fruitvale District, the epicenter of the virus disproportionately impacting Latinos and Blacks. The Unity Council, La Clinica de La Raza and UCSF have fought to stop the virus with testing and COVID-19 prevention protocol. Now, armed with a vaccine, the groups have a more effective way to prevent death with a series of events to administer vaccines with the “Por mi, Por ti, Por Fruitvale / For me, for you, for Fruitvale” outreach that includes UCSF community ambassadors that serve as trusted community messengers to increase confidence to get vaccinated, and a multi-media campaign with public service announcements, please click on toolkit here.
“The Fruitvale District in Oakland is one of the epicenters for the hardest hit population. This fight to save lives has been taken seriously from the onslaught of this public health crisis,” said Mayor of Oakland Libby Schaaf. “Thanks to The Unity Council, La Clinica Raza, UCSF, and partners, efforts have intensified even though more people have been vaccinated. The boots on the ground canvassing by college student ambassadors, coupled with Fruitvale vaccination sites and the multimedia campaign to educate our community about the ever-present need to get vaccinated, this important campaign is a first line of defense as the Delta Variant has caused a spike in cases. As Mayor of Oakland, I am pleased to see Oaklanders intensifying their efforts to save lives. Eradicating the chance of COVID-19 crisis in Fruitvale makes for a stronger and safer Oakland overall.”
With the help of UCSF Community Ambassadors, the “Por mi, Por ti, Por Fruitvale / For me, for you, for Fruitvale” outreach campaign will encourage East Oakland residents to utilize free vaccination sites. Organizers hope the hard-hit Latino and Black community, as the Alameda County Health Department data shows, will take even more effective life-saving action by getting vaccinated. With the highest infection rates and the lowest vaccination rates, the groups joined forces to promote local vaccination sites like the site operated by La Clinica de la Raza located on 1029 International Boulevard Oakland with the capacity of distributing 500 daily doses to Alameda County residents.
“We believe our joint efforts will be even more powerful because we have the vaccines that
scientifically have a high efficacy rate of preventing the spread of the virus or substantially limiting people from being sick to the point of hospitalization,” said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica de La Raza.
“We are encouraging people to get vaccinated and ensure that everyone in the family is vaccinated,” said Dr. Alicia Fernández, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence. “The community ambassadors can help facilitate vaccination education and access so that the California reopening will not need to be halted or reversed. The highly infectious delta variant makes this work even more significant.”
Reflecting the demographics of East Oakland, the Community Ambassadors speak multiple languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Arabic. and represent a range of ethnic groups. All Ambassadors receive training by UCSF with supervision by The Unity Council.
Churches, preschools, nonprofit agencies, and food distribution sites are the sites of pop-up information booths staffed by CSU East Bay and SF State students trained via UCSF’s Latinx Center of Excellence. Community Ambassadors help people make vaccine appointments on virtual platforms used by local health clinics and mass vaccination sites.
“One of the most powerful tools we have in our continued efforts to eradicate the destruction caused by COVID-19 is the trust of our neighbors,” said Chris Iglesias, CEO of The Unity Council. “From the onset, we have continually taken effective action to stop this deadly onslaught in our community. Our recent client survey shows nearly 70% of our community members want to get vaccinated but don’t know-how. The twenty-five UCSF trained Community Ambassadors help remove language and digital barriers that have kept people from making appointments for vaccinations.”
“The Community Ambassadors students have the opportunity both to do service and to gain professional skills by participating in a series of panels focused on careers in the health sciences. We are holding panels related to nursing, research, public health, medicine, and mentorship and professionalism,” said Alice Fishman, administrator for the Community Ambassador Program.
There have been medical reports about some additional benefits of masking, sanitizing hands, and social-distancing organizers say. One benefit has been the decrease of influenza. The joint efforts of The Unity Council, La Clinica de La Raza, and UCSF are making for a healthier community in the fight against COVID-19.
The data confirms there is a need for strong action now to save more lives. Click here to find out the current statistics: https://covid19.ca.gov/.
For information about the vaccination sites, the UCSF Community Ambassadors, and the “Por mi, Por ti, Por Fruitvale / For me, for you, for Fruitvale” outreach multi-media campaign, visit The Unity Council: https://unitycouncil.org; La Clinica Raza: https://laclinica.org/; and UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence: https://cvp.ucsf.edu/programs/capacity-building-training/ucsf-lcoe.
ABOUT THE UNITY COUNCIL, please visit: https://unitycouncil.org/who-we-are/about-us/
ABOUT UCSF, please visit: https://www.ucsf.edu/about
ABOUT LA CLINICA, please visit: https://laclinica.org/about/