Community Partners Announce Switch to Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine During Immunization Event for Underserved Populations

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HeroZona, Equality Health Foundations to Continue Momentous Endeavor in Phoenix

The Equality Health Foundation in partnership with the HeroZona Foundation and other community partners, will offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the OneCommunity Initiative vaccine event scheduled for Saturday, April 17 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Phoenix Sunnyslope Senior Center (802 E. Vogel Ave.). The decision to administer the Moderna vaccine resulted from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

During the event, individuals in underserved communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 will have free access to the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, which will be administered by Walgreens healthcare providers. Event attendees will also be offered free coronavirus nasal swab testing administered by Sonora Quest Laboratories, and food boxes for families in need provided by Grand Canyon University and CityServe.

“Although it appears that the adverse events under review related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are extremely rare, we want to comply with the guidelines of the health experts while still offering communities in need the chance to protect themselves against coronavirus,” said Alan “AP” Powell, Chairman of AP & Associates – Strategic Alliances, U.S. Army Desert-Storm Veteran, and founder of HeroZona. “With three successful vaccination events under our belts, we want the community to know that we’re still here with these life-saving resources and to help them understand why getting the shot is both safe and necessary.”

The April 17 event is the fourth event held by the OneCommunity Initiative, which focuses on reaching diverse, underserved communities, and aims to track demographic data to identify disparity gaps and ensure that the vaccines are distributed fairly and equitably. The first event was held at Cortez Park on March 13 followed by an event at Isaac Middle School on April 3. The third event was held on April 10 at South Mountain Community College, which is now a permanent COVID-19 vaccination site. Information about additional events scheduled for the South Mountain Community College site will be made available as soon as possible, as well as information about when and where participants in the upcoming Sunnyslope event can receive their second Moderna dose.

“Our top priority remains to ensure public safety, focusing on open communication and trust,” said Tomás León, interim President of the Equality Health Foundation. “The premise of this initiative is to address the doubts that diverse communities have about getting vaccinated. While the J&J pausing will allow time for experts to evaluate and better understand the vaccine and possible side effects, we are staying committed to providing folks in underserved neighborhoods with vaccination options.”

One thousand vaccines will be available by appointment for those 18 and older, including frontline and essential workers. For more information and to register, those interested can call the bilingual service line at 888-587-3647.

The community event is supported in part by Arizona Department of Health Services, Maricopa County, City of Phoenix Fire Department, City of Phoenix Police Department, Diana Gregory Outreach Services, United States Representative for Arizona’s 7th District Ruben Gallego, U.S. Representative for Arizona 9th District Greg Stanton, Arizona State District 27 Senator Rebecca Rios, Arizona State District 28 Senator Christine Marsh, Arizona State District 27 Representative Reginald Bolding, Arizona State District 27 Representative Diego Rodriguez, Arizona State District 28 Representative Aaron Lieberman, Arizona State District 28 Representative Kelli Butler, Maricopa County District 3 Supervisor Bill Gates, Maricopa County District 5 Supervisor Steve Gallardo, City of Phoenix District 8 Councilmember Carlos Garcia, City of Phoenix City Council District 3 Councilwoman Debra Stark, the NAACP Arizona State Conference, Grand Canyon University, Roosevelt Elementary School District, Arizona Latin-American Medical Association, the Greater Phoenix Urban League, the Black Chamber of Arizona, 100 Back Men of Phoenix, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Phoenix Chapter, the Black Philanthropy Initiative, the Arizona Coalition for Change, Forty-Eight Foundation, National Pan-Hellenic Council Phoenix Metro Chapter and many more public and private stakeholders.

HeroZona Foundation has launched various community programs including Phoenix Tools 4 School, The Bridge Forum, Holiday Bike Giveaways, MLK Celebrating the Dream, Play It Forward: Engaging Our Youth Through the Arts, Veterans Reach to Teach and the HeroZona Forgotten Heroes Breakfast.

For more information about the foundation’s community program partnerships visit herozona.org or follow on Facebook.com/HeroZonaOrg.

About the HeroZona Foundation
The HeroZona Foundation is a non-profit organization that empowers Heroes in the community through entrepreneurship, employment, and education. The group works with veterans, first responders and those that bring social good to future generations and under-served communities. The foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for the brave men and women who serve their country, and community, every day. For more information, please visit HeroZona.org.

About the Equality Health Foundation
The Equality Health Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to leveling the healthcare playing field in culturally diverse and underserved communities. The Foundation works to expand access to care, accelerate health education, and eliminate healthcare inequalities so that everyone in the community has an opportunity to lead healthier and longer lives. For more information, visit equalityhealthfoundation.org.

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Ivana Morales