Sociodemographic factors, including food insecurity, affect health outcomes such as COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. At least 1 in 5 central Indiana residents are affected by food insecurity, a problem that disproportionately affects groups experiencing disadvantage (Indianapolis poverty breakdown: 32% Hispanic, 26% Black, 23% Asian). National trends show COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is greater among minorities, and Indiana’s fully vaccinated population lags behind the national average.
CHEqI partnered with community-based organizations to design and implement an innovative vaccination model, offering free COVID-19 and flu vaccinations to people experiencing food and housing insecurity at multiple event sites. Goals included decreasing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, increasing vaccine accessibility, and promoting health equity while addressing food insecurity.
More than 800 vaccines (COVID and flu) have been administered through this delivery model, across five community partners and 23 events between June 2021-January 2022. Of the people receiving a vaccine who reported their ethnicity (N=430) or race (N=372), 54% self-identified as Hispanic or Latino and 44% self-identified as Black or African American. Student and faculty pharmacists have also engaged with more than 3,300 people to assess interest in receiving the vaccine and engage in discussions to reduce vaccine hesitancy.