Loma Linda University team honored for vaccine equity efforts – San Bernardino Sun

A team from Loma Linda University honored for its work promoting vaccine equity says there’s still much work to be done.

In January, the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches honored the group of eight faculty and staff members for their efforts to ensure COVID-19 vaccine equity in the local community.

“The Dorothy Inghram Trailblazer award is presented to those whose tenacity in the face of opposition allowed them to blaze new paths in areas that impact the community in a positive matter,” said Bishop Kelvin Simmons, president of IECAAC, in a news release. “We selected this brilliant team of Loma Linda University great minds because their efforts to ensure vaccination equity was a ‘trailblazing’ move for our community.”

Honoree Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, an assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy, said the equity work started early in the public coronavirus vaccine rollout a year ago.

At that point the university had the largest mass vaccination site in San Bernardino County where 1,000 to 1,900 individuals were vaccinated per day.

On one particular day in February 2021, more than 17,000 San Bernardino County community members were vaccinated, but only 35 of them were Black residents.

“From there we knew that we had work to do in getting individuals of racially and ethnically minoritized groups vaccinated,” Abdul-Mutakabbir said in an email.

The university worked with groups such as IECAAC and the Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement to hold clinics in the Black community. They held vaccine townhalls to answer questions, and then the churches became vaccination sites for university students and community health workers to complete the effort.

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