Written by Henry Soffronoff, Community Impact Intern
Protecting ourselves, our communities and our loved ones from COVID-19 is a collaborative effort. With support from the American Heart Association and the Department of Health & Human Services, local organizations offered free COVID-19 bivalent boosters across four community events last month. The We Can Do This Campaign reached thousands of people with critical health resources and information to combat the spread of COVID-19 and helped to administer more than 50 vaccines to members of the Greater Washington community.
Events included The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s Annual Healthy Kids Day on April 29 at YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase and YMCA Silver Spring, Langley Park Day on May 21, and a senior vaccine clinic day at YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase on May 24.
In addition to providing free vaccinations to eligible individuals, the Association also presented incentives including cookbooks, fresh produce, Hungry Harvest boxes, $25 grocery gift cards and other giveaways to attendees interested in learning more about COVID-19 safety and vaccines.
At Langley Park Day, the largest event drawing over 650 people, the Association also offered all participants free healthy meals from the Peruvian Brothers food truck and created a pop-up farm stand where attendees could get fresh fruits and vegetables for free.
“COVID-19 vaccination does not last forever and restoring your protection with a booster shot is necessary to prevent serious illness and keep yourself and others safe,” said American Heart Association Greater Washington Region Board President Kelly Epps-Anderson M.D. “Through the We Can Do This Campaign, we’re breaking down barriers to vaccinations and making booster shots available to some of the most vulnerable and at-risk people in our community.”
Thank you to Giant for administering vaccinations, and to the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, Langley Park Community Center, Langley Park Civic Association and Prince George’s County Parks & Recreation for their hosting and planning of these events. For more information, email [email protected].
Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Vaccine locations can be found at www.vaccines.gov. Anyone 12 or older who received their last COVID-19 vaccine prior to September 2022 and prior to October for young children may be eligible for a booster shot. The bivalent vaccine is a priority for anyone with a chronic health condition over the age of 18 and those who are pregnant.
People who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to call their doctor to ask if they are eligible to get Paxlovid. Paxlovid is an anti-viral medication that can stop the virus from multiplying in the body so patients will have fewer symptoms for a shorter time. However, Paxlovid is most effective in the first few days. The treatment is widely available but requires a doctor’s prescription.