The covid-19 vaccine is finally here and most countries have started working on their vaccination programs, giving healthcare workers and older adults a priority. But one US city Central Falls is offering the vaccine for everyone who is over 18 years of age/
Central Falls, Rhode Island is a small community with only 20,000 residents most of which as Hispanic. This area is also famous for its undocumented migrants to the US which is one of many reasons why this area is offering vaccines for all.
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It is an extremely dense place that is somehow responsible for the skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases in Rhode Island, making it one of the worst-hit places in the US. The local state government has advised everyone who is over 75 years of age or belongs to a high-risk group to get the Covid-19 vaccine. However, Central Falls has opened a vaccination program for everyone who is over 18 years of age, including young adults.
Mayor of Central Falls, Maria Rivera said in an interview that every person who is here for work or any reason gets a priority to receive this vaccination. The reason why the pandemic hit this whole state so bad is linked with the close-knit community of Central Falls where large families share one roof.
Central Falls reported the highest rate of Covid-19 cases, infection-linked hospitalizations, and deaths in entire Rhode Island. The city has a 13% Black and 66% Latino population, most of which live in huge family setups.
By the end of January, Central Falls confirmed at least 3,500 positive cases, 190 Covid-19 linked hospitalizations, and 21 deaths and the health quality is rapidly deteriorating.
During the start of the pandemic, many residents lost their jobs and had no money. With this high financial constraint, they weren’t able to sign up for the benefits, says Rivera. So once the vaccinations were approved in December, the local government decided to offer a vaccination program starting for older adults and gradually reaching younger ones. During the recent weeks, it has finally reached from 75 years old to 50 and to finally 18 years old offering protection to all of these age groups.
She also said that it is the right way to control new cases because without vaccinating most of the population, there are high chances that the infection will keep on spreading.
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She confirmed delivering nearly 700 doses from the Central Falls High School a couple of days ago. The locals gathered in the school gymnasium, maintaining the six feet mandatory distance, waiting for their turn to get the vaccine. They were kept for some time under observation to see the after-effects of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The teams are visiting all residents, ensuring that everyone has information which they need in their native languages. It is to make sure that people know their symptoms and when to call for help. In addition to the testing and vaccination program, information about handling the infection will significantly lower the risk of new infections and save people from Covid-19 related complications in Central Falls.