Asian Americans

DC Health Launches ‘Faith in Vaccine' Program to Reach Asian Community

The program is just one of several community outreach programs the District has rolled out

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As the District continues to vaccinate its residents, DC Health is reaching the Asian American community through its Faith in Vaccine program.

The Faith in Vaccine program has vaccinated nearly 4,000 D.C. residents through pop-up vaccine clinics at local religious and community centers.

More than 100 members of D.C.’s Asian community showed up Wednesday at the Chinese community church in Northwest to get their shots. The Asian and Pacific Islander community makes up more than 5% of the D.C. population and is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the District. 

“The whole goal of Faith in Vaccine is to bring vaccines into community for easy access where folks feel comfortable and have confidence in the community,” said Dr. Ankoor Shah of DC Health. 

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Ben De Guzman from the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs told News4 the Asian community is not fearful of the vaccine like some other groups have been.

“A lot of them are immigrants here, and so they’ve had to get shots for other reasons when they come to the country,”  De Guzman said.

But De Guzman said there are other fears that have kept some Asian Americans from getting vaccinated — one of them being the target of hate crimes. 

“There’s a concern in going out and being in public, especially seniors have been the focus of hate incidents around the country, women in the community,” De Guzman said. 

The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.

Dr. Shah said she believes the Faith in Vaccine program is having a big impact ..

The program Is just one of several community outreach programs the District has rolled out. Vaccine Buddy Initiative is another example, and later this week DC Health will start bringing vaccines to people in their homes

“Individuals who otherwise don’t have access to vaccines," Shah said. "This is typically seniors or residents with significant medical problems getting home-based medical services.”

The District is planning more Faith in Vaccine clinics in the coming weeks. Residents can sign up for the homebound vaccinations by calling the D.C. COVID-19 hotline.

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