Agency partners with Lapeer County Health Department

IMLAY CITY — On Thursday, March 25, free COVID-19 vaccinations will be administered at the Hispanic Service Center for pre-registered Hispanic residents and others most impacted by the pandemic.

Those interested in being vaccinated must register in advance by calling the Center as soon as possible at 810-724-3665.

Lourdes Emke, Imlay City Hispanic Service Center Director, said her staff is working with the Lapeer County Health Dept. to provide and administer the free vaccines.

Emke said the program is not limited only to the Hispanic community, but fits in with Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) health guidelines that focus on vaccinating Hispanics and other groups determined to be vulnerable.

In response to a March 1 MDHHS health directive, the Lapeer County Health Department (LCHD) is administering the Moderna vaccine based on meeting the needs of key “priority groups” as determined by the MDHHS, which includes the local Hispanic population; subject to the availability of the vaccinations.

MDHHS Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, elaborated on the State of Michigan’s efforts to vaccinate Hispanics and other vulnerable groups.

“Workers in higher risk agricultural settings have been adversely impacted by this pandemic,” Khaldun said. “We need to remove barriers to vaccine access for our most vulnerable individuals in Michigan.”

She identified those individuals as people with disabilities, those of lower income, and members of racial and ethnic minorities.

“These steps will allow federally qualified health centers across the state to begin vaccinating and to prioritize vaccine allocation to partnerships and providers who are removing barriers to access.

“This strategy is important as we move forward with our goal to equitably vaccinate 70 percent of Michigan residents age 16 and over as quickly as possible,” she said.

Free COVID tests

Emke added that the Imlay City Hispanic Service Center will also host free COVID-19 tests for all on Friday, March 19 from 10 a.m. – noon.

Free food on Fridays

Meanwhile, other programs to benefit all local residents will continue at the Imlay City Hispanic Service Center.

Emke said HSC staff continues to operate its free outdoor food pantry on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The outdoor food pantry sprang up at the outset of the pandemic as a way to get food to those most impacted by the economic consequences of the virus.

“Everyone is welcome to stop by and pick out what they need from our weekly supply of vegetables, bread, milk and other staples,” said Emke.

The Hispanic Service Center is located at 113 N. Almont Ave. in downtown Imlay City.

For questions or further information about the aforementioned programs, call the HSC office at 810-724-3665.