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Inside San Antonio's effort to vaccinate the homeless population

Haven for Hope offered one-shot COVID vaccines to residents, with the help of CentroMed.

SAN ANTONIO — It isn't just the city's most secure residents looking to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus; on Friday, CentroMed and Haven for Hope partnered up to provide immunizations to members of San Antonio's homeless population. 

The vaccine clinic was held at the Haven for Hope Pavilion near downtown. They were offering the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which is a one-dose immunization. 

“We really wanted to dedicate that to our patients who are experiencing homelessness," said Ana Maria Garza Cortez, vice president and chief development officer for CentroMed.

Lemanda Del Toro, acute care services manager Haven for Hope, said offering the vaccine this way was a big benefit for their residents as many of them don't have a primary care doctor or know how to approach the matter.

“To make this vaccine available and ready to them, it’s a big feat,” Del Toro said. 

Garza Cortez said although it’s fortunate there hasn’t been an outbreak in the homeless population, it’s still important to make the vaccine available as soon as possible.

“We think it’s very important to be everywhere, to get the word out, and get as many people the vaccine so we can end this pandemic,” she said.

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