State uses emergency alert for vaccine clinics

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- La Casa De Amistad, a community center is South Bend that empowers Latino and Hispanic communities within Michiana, opened its doors up to any and all Hoosiers 18 and older for a free vaccination clinic on Tuesday. 

“As of right now we’ve gotten over 80 and we anticipate over 120 so we are well on our way to breaking that number and hopefully ordering more in,” La Casa De Amistad Director of Development Juan Constantino said. 

In St. Joseph County, the number of folks who have rolled up their sleeves to get a shot have only continued to grow, and having clinics like these, officials say, is encouraging to continue to push this trend up. 

“We are seeing us vaccinate more and more people,” St. Joseph County Department of Health HOPE Director Robin Vida said. “This morning we had almost 110 thousand St. Joseph county residents almost fully vaccinated!”  

The clinic, which encouraged both pre-appointments and walk throughs for the Pfizer or the one and done Johnson and Johnson shot, was advertised both on social media and in a more unique, unexpected way that we haven’t seen before.  

“We were informed late yesterday that the state department of health would be utilizing the state wide emergency system for a text message about the clinic,” Vida said. 

Usually, emergency alerts to the phone include AMBER alerts or severe weather threats, but that wasn’t the case Tuesday morning when the loud alarm went off. Instead, a public safety notification to grab attention of the opportunities available in the area!  

“We just wanted to make sure that the marketing was right and folks simply knew this was an option so you know we made a social media event, we made a public post, we’ve done things on our story, and so La Casa De Amistad has done its due diligence on our end to just get it out there to folks just to simply know they’re out there, so we want to make sure we’re pushing folks to get vaccinated and we’re an option so we can be safer as a community,” Constantino said. 

Many folks actually showed up at the clinic after receiving the notification, while others expressed on social media their disapproval of it. Officials say they aren’t too sure on whether or not text alerts like these will continue, but they do believe they are beneficial to reel in the crowd who may not be in tuned with social media!  

“I think any time we can offer a mobile or pop-up type clinic at institutions throughout a community where they feel safe feel trusted, it's always a win. So, I most definitely think the clinic at la casa today and tomorrow (Wednesday) as well at the Civil Rights Heritage Center on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I see them all as wins and opportunities to ensure access.”  

La Casa De Amistad is running another clinic on Wednesday, May 26 from 9 AM to 6 PM. 

The Civil Rights Heritage Center will also host clinics this week, running from Thursday through Saturday from 9 AM- 6 PM

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