Last week, the County of Santa Barbara commenced its mobile clinic program with five teams, instead of one. Now, there are three teams in Santa Maria, the city of Santa Barbara and Lompoc.
Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the Director of Public Health in Santa Barbara County, explained that the increase was to address disparities in access, as well as build trust by collaborating with employers, nonprofits, churches and community centers.
Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., the mobile clinic will be somewhere different to give people a greater chance of receiving the vaccine.
County officials believed increasing the access, frequency and ensuring community partnerships, would help residents feel more at ease.
On Sunday, the nonprofit MICOP offered its office, staff and language skills to the County.
Ana Huhyn, the Program Director for MICOP, told us, “One obstacle, again, is just not having enough information in the language that they speak. The language we that we provided information on is Mixteco, but like I said there are other languages right now that I know are not being provided.”
Those seeking the vaccine can either sign up via MyTurn, California's centralized vaccine system, or can walk up.
Dr. Do-Reynoso said they overbook with the understanding that there will be people who cancel or do not appear for their appointments.
The mobile clinics can serve up to 200 vaccines and all people have to do is show their ID to receive the vaccine.
For those who do not have an I.D., Dr. Do-Reynoso is working on a solution, “We want to offer a mobile vaccination clinic and partner up with the consulate to offer consulate services as well.”
She invited Deputy Consul Jonathan Alvarez to scope out Santa Maria for potential locations and technological sources for a mobile consulate.
Consul Alvarez said, “We want to be able to set up these events in a synchronized manner at the same time as the vaccination clinics, so that if someone has problem to get their vaccination appointment, so they can get their ID through us.”
He predicts they will have a plan by May, and that the mobile consulate will stop by at least once a month.
The mobile clinics also accept I.D.'s like credit cards with the user's photo on it, school or university I.D.'s or Costco membership cards.
People can contact the mobile clinics at firstname.lastname@example.org.