Vaccination clinic in Pittsburgh neighborhood sees increase amid Delta variant

PITTSBURGH — A vaccine clinic that is led by Duquesne University and a church, is seeing a huge uptick in how many people within the black and brown communities are getting the vaccine.

In Pittsburgh, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected underserved communities, with vaccine hesitancy coming from those same communities.

But recently there’s been a noticeable increase of how many people are getting the vaccine in the Hill District. Vaccine hesitancy in black and brown communities was extremely high early on.

“It bothered me greatly, our history, and what we’ve gone through in the past. The concerns or reservations others had. I believe they are valid, and I believe they are true, but I know today it’s different than those times,” Central Baptist Church administrator Karen Eady-Lockett said.

Central Baptist Church partners with Duquesne University and the Allegheny County Health Department to hold vaccination clinics at the location.

“We have administered close to 6,000 COVID vaccines since April at this site here in the Hill District,” Duquesne University School of Pharmacy Associate Professor Jennifer Elliot said.

And they are noticing an uptick in the number of black and brown families who want the vaccine. There are a number of reasons why.

“I think it’s definitely due to the increased cases and hospitalizations in Allegheny County. Also the delta variant and how it’s impacting children. The fact that schools are reopening,” Elliot said.

Eady-Lockett said the delta variant is increasing everyone’s awareness, making people more interested in getting vaccinated.

“I have had those who have lost their lives to this virus, and I don’t want to see anyone else go that way,” she said. “This virus is deadly, and I can’t say it enough.”

The clinic is offering booster shots to those who are eligible. They also offer free health screenings and have noticed an increase in how many people are signing up for their wellness program.