Lizbeth Smith was walking door-to-door in a Groton neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon. She said she has one goal for the summer: knock on every door in New London County to make sure people have access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Smith, a community health worker for the Ledge Light Health District, lives in Groton and is originally from Peru. She has spent the past few months working on spreading vaccines in Spanish-speaking communities, such as the Groton neighborhood where LLHD hosted a pop-up clinic on Tuesday.
“It’s important because some can’t go to a clinic or don’t have transportation,” said Smith. “And it’s also good to speak Spanish because some people don’t have the information. You don’t read or write in English. “
Smith invited several people to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the clinic in the Groton neighborhood on Tuesday. She answered questions and addressed concerns.
Carolina Plasencia said she wasn’t given the vaccine until after talking to Smith because she was comfortable.
“She is Spanish and loves helping the community. She doesn’t just have a job. It’s in a lot of different places, “said Plasencia.
With communities across the state lagging behind on vaccination rates, LLHD is planning other, similar, practical vaccines.
“It’s not enough for us to say, ‘Well, the information is available on the CDC website – just take our word for it.’ People need to be able to chat with fellow community members, someone they trust, and have their specific questions answered, “said Jennifer Muggeo, assistant director of the LLHD.
Some communities with lower vaccination rates are also classified as “socially vulnerable” based on indicators such as access to housing and transport. LLHD was one of several health districts that received government grants for vaccines. You will use the funds to devote more resources to these communities.
LLHD is planning many more pop-up clinics and door knocking throughout the summer.
“Even if you have three or four people, you’ve done something very good,” said Smith.
For more information on LLHD pop-up clinics, please visit Here.