The Giving Team Inc. will host a COVID-19 clinic Saturday specifically focused on underserved communities on the east side of Hot Springs, to make the process of getting a vaccination as easy as "going to the grocery store," the group's president said.
The free clinic will be open to anyone 16 and older from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to Habitat ReStore on the corner of Malvern Avenue and Church Street. No appointment is required.
There will be Spanish translators available and minimal paperwork required. No insurance, documentation or ID is required.
"If you have insurance you can put your insurance down, but all they ... are asking is that you have a name, date of birth and a phone number," Janice Davis, Giving Team president and founder, said.
"Specifically, we were are targeting those individuals who currently reside on the east side of Hot Springs who represent our Black, brown, Hispanic, underserved and marginalized community who have a difficult time receiving timely information for vaccination," Davis said in an email to The Sentinel-Record.
"This free clinic will be a turnkey event for an individual to easily access the vaccine by providing the following information: name, date of birth, and telephone number" to be called back for the second shot.
"If an individual has insurance, Medicaid, or ArKids, it will be accepted, however, vaccinations will be provided for all individuals who don't have insurance. We are encouraging to share this message throughout your network to make this free event available to all those interested."
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will be administered by Smith Drug and Compounding Inc.
Davis said she hopes for at least 200-300 vaccinations to be given during the clinic.
"This Clinic is very important to me," Davis said in the email. "When the COVID shots became available it was so difficult to get Brown, Black, African American, Hispanic persons shots. Actually it was impossible!!"
She told the newspaper it's because many people in the Black community do not have internet access or primary care physicians.
"Six weeks ago, you had to register, you had to call; it could take you a week to get an appointment, it could take you four or five days to get an appointment," Davis said. "You'd call, they'd call you back, or they might not call you back. You had to be on a list. All you have to do is come and walk up (to our clinic). ... It's like going to the grocery store. ... It has never been this easy."
Only 49% of Garland County residents age 65 and over have been fully vaccinated, and approximately 20% of the entire population in the county has been fully vaccinated, according to the latest news release from the Hot Springs/Garland County COVID-19 Task Force.
The clinic will also provide needs assessment, clothing items, tents and tarps, food boxes, care products, free eye exams and IRS tax and stimulus needs.
"We (the Giving Team) envision a community where all its residents have access to life's basic essentials for survival: Food, clothing, social services and life skill opportunities," Davis said.