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Monday, September 20, 2021

San Juan Basin Public Health awarded nearly $1 million in funding to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates

Chandler Griffin
San Juan Basin Public Health

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is pleased to announce it will receive $911,847 from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to conduct outreach and education to increase COVID vaccine uptake in La Plata and Archuleta counties. 

SJBPH is also receiving a $45,969 grant from Caring for Colorado’s Together We Protect Vaccine Equity Fund.

Funds from HRSA will be used to increase the overall vaccination rates in La Plata and Archuleta counties by addressing COVID-19-related health disparities and advancing health equity. SJBPH and local partners will mobilize community outreach to educate and assist underserved and target populations in getting vaccinated for COVID-19. With the grant, SJBPH will work to increase capacity for its COVID-19 vaccine program and provide funding for local community partners and organizations working with underserved groups.

SJBPH is proud to partner with Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center and the La Plata Family Centers Coalition to implement the HRSA-funded vaccine equity campaign. HRSA grant funds will also be made available to other community partners through a request for proposal (RFP) mini-grant process to be announced in the coming weeks by SJBPH.

Funds from Together We Protect Vaccine Equity Fund will be used to address COVID-19 vaccine equity for low income, minority, disabled and other underserved youth populations in both Archuleta and La Plata counties. 

“SJBPH is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to vaccinating as many residents as quickly as possible and doing so in a way that is equitable. These funds will allow us to continue our vaccine education and outreach in a robust way and add new, innovative strategies to reach underserved communities and help them get protected from COVID-19,” said Liane Jollon, SJBPH executive director. “Unvaccinated residents are at much higher risk of catching one of the more severe variants that are present in our community. The safe and effective vaccines are still our best tool for limiting the spread of COVID-19, in addition to masks, which we continue to strongly advise for both unvaccinated and vaccinated residents in public indoor spaces.”

“We must work together to ensure that all community members of La Plata and Archuleta counties are educated about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine in slowing down the impact this virus is having on our communities,” said Denise Herrera, La Plata Family Center Coalition Parent Leader. “It is a priority that we not only educate underrepresented populations, but that we offer them the opportunity to access the vaccine. Through our joined efforts we must reach each and every person with this lifesaving vaccine.”

This announcement comes as the more transmissible Delta variant continues to spread in the community. Recent data indicates Delta is now the dominant strain in Colorado, accounting for 95 percent of all random positive COVID-19 tests analyzed at the Colorado state public health laboratory for a recent week. SJBPH believes that it is also the dominant strain locally. 

There are numerous vaccine providers in La Plata and Archuleta counties, and SJBPH is now offering clinics six days per week in partnership with Jogan Health. Dates and times for upcoming clinics are listed below. The full schedule of vaccine clinics, pop-ups and mobile clinics is available online with convenient dates and times available across both counties.

Archuleta County

First Southwest Bank, 249 Navajo Trail Drive, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, 811 San Juan St., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m. 

Turkey Springs Trading Post, 11497 W. U.S. 160, Wednesdays, 3 to 6 p.m.

Ross Aragon Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd., Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 East Side Market and Pagosa Farmers Market, 225 E. Pagosa St., Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Although advance registration is preferred, walk-ins are also welcome at upcoming clinics. The vaccine is free and no ID is required. Additional clinics and information about the COVID-19 vaccine can be found on SJBPH’s website, https://sjbpublichealth.org/covid-19-vaccine/. 

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